Laljit Singh Bhullar kick starts road safety month, emphasizing need for collective efforts in reducing mortality rate in road accidents : Punjab Transport Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar, on Monday, urged all the stakeholders to actively contribute to reducing the road accidents mortality rate in the state.
Addressing the event after kick starting the Road Safety month, spanning from January 15 to February 14, 2024, which is being organized by the Punjab State Road Safety Council here at Punjab Civil Secretariat-2, the Transport Minister stressed the importance of year-round commitment to road safety by concerned departments, NGOs and commuters beyond just the designated month.
Highlighting the positive impact of measures implemented by Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led government, including the Sadak Surkhiya Force (SSF) and continuous and effective monitoring; the Cabinet Minister informed that as per the Annual Report on Punjab Road Crashes and Traffic-2022, the state experienced a 0.24% decrease in road accident fatalities in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Despite a nationwide increase of 9.4% in road fatalities in 2022, S. Laljit Singh Bhullar said that Punjab saw a decline, registering 4,578 road accident fatalities. He pointed out over-speeding and animal-related incidents as leading causes, with 2085 deaths attributed to over-speeding and 421 to animal involvement in the year 2022.
Laljit Singh Bhullar also released the report “Identification and Rectification of Accident Black Spots in Punjab for Phase-III (2019-2021)”, revealing that as per the third report, a total 583 black spots were identified in the state and around 60 percent of theses have been rectified so far. He said that the state of Punjab is acknowledged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for leading in identification and correction of black spots. He said that rectifying these spots on national highways resulted in around 40 percent reduction in road fatalities on/near black spots and total 10 percent decline on the National Highways across the state.
The Cabinet Minister expressed concern, noting that every fifth patient in hospital is a road accident victim. He emphasized the significant economic impact, stating that deaths in road accidents cause an annual loss of about Rs.21000 crores, approximately 3 percent of the state’s GDP, for families, relatives and the state.
Acknowledging the challenge of foggy-season accidents, S. Bhullar instructed traffic police to penalize heavy vehicles causing hazards during this period.
He commended NGOs involved in road safety and announced their recognition on Republic Day. The Cabinet Minister urged these organizations to provide suggestions for enhancing road safety measures.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included; During the meeting Secretary Transport S. Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia, Director General Lead Agency Mr. R. Venkat Ratnam, State Transport Commissioner Mr. Moneesh Kumar, Director Public Relations Department S. Bhupinder Singh, ADGP (Traffic) Mr. A.S. Rai, Traffic Advisor Punjab Mr. Navdeep Asija and NHAI, PWD, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab Mandi Board, School Education officials were also present.
Mr. Harman Sidhu from NGO ‘Arrive Safe’, Mr. Ravi Ahluwalia from ‘Patiala Foundation’, Mr. Deepak Sharma from ‘Mayank Foundation’, Mr. Harpreet Singh from ‘Avoid Accident’ and Mr. Jaspreet Chabra from NGO ‘Muktisar’ were also present in the meeting.
Various activities to be organized during road safety month Laljit Singh Bhullar informed that various activities are planned for the Road Safety month by concerned department in collaboration with NGOs including cycle/two-wheeler rallies, affixing retro-reflective tapes on transport vehicles, nukkad talks with drivers, awareness campaigns on seat belts and helmets and special drives against red light violations, overspeeding and drunk driving. Similarly, the Road Owning Departments will focus on cleaning roadside vegetation, installing road signage and addressing street light issues and identification of accident-prone spots. The School Education, Higher Education and Technical Education departments will organize walkathons, poster making and quiz competitions, exhibitions and lectures on road safety by NGOs and Road Safety experts.
Besides this, the Transport Department in collaboration with the Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education & Research will conduct medical/eye checkup camps for drivers and raise awareness about overloading and fitness certificates for vehicles. The Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education & Research departments will make visit to Trauma Care Centers to checkup about staff position.