Bhubaneswar, Jan 1: The Odisha government has taken a significant step in response to the rising fatalities from road accidents in the state by issuing a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP). This SOP provides detailed guidelines for various stakeholders, including vehicle owners, collaborating agencies, local police, and regional transport officers (RTOs).
One of the key factors contributing to the surge in road accidents is the heightened traffic during the winter season, particularly around popular picnic spots and pilgrim places. As people flock outdoors for recreational activities, roads become congested, parking becomes challenging, and the risk of accidents escalates.
The Transport Department's SOP emphasizes that individuals engaged in recreational activities near these areas may be less attentive to traffic rules or engage in distracting activities, increasing the likelihood of accidents. To address this concern, the SOP underscores the importance of both drivers and pedestrians remaining vigilant, strictly adhering to safety guidelines, and exercising caution to mitigate the risk of accidents in such recreational zones.
Noteworthy is the revelation that in 2022, Odisha witnessed 5,467 deaths resulting from 11,663 road accidents, compared to 5,081 deaths from 10,983 accidents in 2021. The winter season, spanning from November to February, exacerbates the situation, with increased road accidents and fatalities associated with heightened picnic activities.
In light of these alarming statistics, the Department is committed to achieving a substantial reduction in road accident-related casualties. This will be accomplished through stringent enforcement measures, particularly focused on picnic spots and pilgrim places scattered across the State.