Himachal Pradesh to launch drive to identified black spots and rectify them

SHIMLA: After the death of 44 persons in the bus mishap in Banjar area of Kullu has once again put a question mark on the genuineness of the efforts being made towards preventing such fatal mishaps and there being knee jerk reaction only when the tragedy takes place.

As expected Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur chaired a meeting here today to take stock of the situation arising out of such fatal accidents which claim precious lives. As per date compiled by Road Accident Data Management System (RADMS) more than 93 per cent accidents in Himachal have taken place due to human error.

Over 3,000 road accidents are taking place every year in which more than 1200 people are dying and more than 5,000 being injured but still there has been no change in this pattern despite claims by the government of having taken preventive steps.

“A special campaign would be launched to identify and rectify the black spots so as to minimize the road accidents and the new roads would be cleared for traffic movement only after the road is passed by the road safety auditors,” the CM said today. He said that a new mechanism to identify and rectify the black spots would be implemented, without waiting for an untoward incident to happen. Special focus would be laid on improving rural roads which have greater frequency of traffic.

It has been decided to lay special emphasis on making driver test more stringent. All transport vehicles, including taxis, would have to display name with photograph of the driver prominently in the vehicles so that the commuters could know that the driver is well trained and authorized to drive the vehicle. Rash and negligent driving including over speeding, dangerous overtaking and drunken driving have emerged as the major factors for accidents which result in deaths of people, especially in villagers where there are limited means of communication. This year up to March 31, a total of 655 accidents have taken place in which 248 people have been killed and 1,152 injured.

Other factors which have been found to be the reasons behind the accidents include bad road condition, absence of parapets and crash barriers at the accident-prone stretches. “Data has revealed that 93.61 accidents in 2019 have been caused due to human error,” BK Agarwal, Chief Secretary, had revealed while chairing a meeting on Road safety on June 12.

Though on paper officials revealed that 71 of the 90 black spots identified by the police had been rectified there was no let in fatal accidents. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) had also identified 169 black spots and requested the Public Works Department to rectify them.

The GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute had provided a list of 505 black spots, out of which 200 had been rectified said officials.