Meet on reducing highway accidents

Coordinated efforts to curb accidents at identified ‘black spots’ called for

Not just the police department or its traffic wing, but Panchayati Raj and Roads & Buildings departments with the coordination of sarpanches of villages along the State and National Highways, should step up measures to reduce accidents, District Collector Prashant J Patil said on Thursday.

Instructing officials for a more coordinated work, he said immediate attention should be on rectifying identified ‘black spots’ on the highways for accident-free passage of traffic.

He said the damaged highways, in the recent rain and flood, must be repaired and sufficient lighting should be available around the ‘black spots’.

Addressing officials from the various departments, the toll plaza concessionaires, and from the National Highways Authority of India at the road safety awareness meet, Mr. Patil suggested funds available with villages should be used for lighting arrangements and vegetation control near vulnerable spots and sharp curves on the highways.

Superintendent of Police A.V. Ranganath said the department has been working on various ways to reduce accidents near ‘black spots’, and requested participation from all the stakeholders.

He said one officer at every police station will be identified to look after safety measures on the highway, in their limits, and installation of CCTV units would also be worked out.

Although the police department came up with innovations such as rumble strips, bollards and stoppers near ‘black spots’, to mitigate accidents, poor lighting made them less ineffective, he said.

Mr. Ranganath too, suggested gram panchayats should supervise electricity supply and lighting arrangements at the spots.

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