Steps for road safety in Assam

Transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Saturday directed all enforcement transport officials to keep track of overloaded passenger vehicles instead of trucks. He said this during the inauguration of the 31st Road Safety Week which was launched in Assam on Saturday with the slogan "Bring change through youth power". Speaking on the occasion, Patowary said: "We alone cannot bring change in the road safety scene in Assam.

We need people's cooperation to prevent road accidents." He said one of the major causes of accidents apart from drink driving or rash driving is tired or stressed out drivers. He said the problem could be solved if the drivers were given refreshment training like a counselling session.

"Another initiative should be taken by the motor vehicle inspectors (MVIs) or the enforcement officers in terms of checking if a particular vehicle is in good condition to be driven or not. But most of the time it is seen that several vehicles are declared fit by the MVIs without any proper investigation or checking." The minister said: "Over the years it is seen that enforcing officers usually intercept trucks because they get huge bribes from these but this should be stopped.

Now the officers should focus on the passenger vehicles that are usually overloaded which is a major concern for passengers. We see people hanging from the rear of those share taxis. But some of the officials only intercept the trucks and not these vehicles which pose a threat to human life."

Patowary asked private bus operators to initiate projects for the safety of the drivers and passengers by setting up possible logistic hubs at various locations in the state. Commissioner of transport, Assam, Adil Khan, said accidents over the years do not seem to be decreasing, but the government was now taking several measures in the state to prevent mishaps. He added that one major step for this would be the use of latest technology, including installation of CCTVs to trace rule-violating vehicles, procurement of new interceptors and breath analysers among others.

Khan added that a special team of volunteers, comprising citizens, would also be formed in the state to respond to every possible traffic emergency.

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