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State Road Safety Policy of West Bengal, 2015

Published in Transport.

Government of West Bengal
Transport Department
Paribahan Bhawan
12, R.N. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata – 700 001

No. 1732-WT/TR/P/3M(RS)-6/14 (Pt. I) Date: 12.05.2015

From: Additional Secretary to the Government of West Bengal

To: The Principal Secretary to the Government of West Bengal,
Information and Cultural Affairs Department,
‘NABANNA’
325, Sarat Chatterjee Road
Mandirtala, Howrah-711102.

Subject: Putting the draft State Road Safety Policy on the public domain inviting suggestions/ views from the wider cross section of the people.

Reference: Decision of the first meeting of the State Road Safety Council held on 22.04.2015.

Sir,

In inviting a reference to the above, I am directed to send herewith a copy of the draft Road Safety Policy prepared by the Special Additional Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, in pursuance of the decision of the meeting taken by the Chief Secretary, West Bengal on 04.03.2015 and to request that the draft Road Safety Policy may kindly be arranged to be uploaded on the State Government’s website inviting suggestions/ views from the wider cross sections of the people as decided in the first meeting of the State Road Safety Council on 22.04.2015.
Encl. As stated.

Yours faithfully,

Sd/- Additional Secretary to the Government of West Bengal

DRAFT ROAD SAFETY POLICY OF WEST BENGAL – 2015

PREAMBLE:

The rapid development and expansion of the road network and the sustained increase in the number of motor vehicles have led to a substantial rise in levels of both passenger and freight movement across the length and breadth of the State of West Bengal. Concomitantly road safety issues have continued to emerge.

The number of road accidents and fatalities has been growing in West Bengal in the recent years which is a cause for concern and calls for concerted and multi-disciplinary preventive and remedial efforts. The Government of West Bengal, therefore, has considered it relevant to frame a Road Safety Policy aimed at reducing the incidence of road accidents and ensure safe travel for all road users through sustainable and well-planned public policy initiatives.

VISION:

A safe road network for all road users in the state with a view to achieving ‘zero road accident figure’ in the long run.

3.0. MISSION:

Reduce road accidents as well as fatalities by 20% by 2020.

4.0. OBJECTIVE:

  • Improving road engineering and design, bolstering road safety awareness, providing emergency care and strict enforcement of the rules of the road.
  • Designing, developing and implementing an ‘Accident Information System’ to enable better and prompt accident/crash management’ in the state in the next two years.
  • Providing a well-laid framework for undertaking coordinated actions and corrective measures by all concerned Departments and ensuring accountability, evaluation, funding and research.
  • Achieving substantial reduction in fatalities and injuries caused due to road accidents.

5.0. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY:

Road Safety is a multi-disciplinary issue and therefore it is imperative that a coordinated interdepartmental approach is in place for sustainable reduction of road accidents and fatalities in the State. For effective monitoring and implementation, Road Safety Council has been formed in West Bengal in terms of Sec 215 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and Rule 356 of West Bengal Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, West Bengal, vide Notification No. 1083-WT/TR/P/3M(RS)-6/14 (Pt.I) dated 23rd March 2015. The Council comprises senior officials from Home, Transport, Health & Family Welfare, Urban Development, Public Works, Municipal Affairs, Law, Panchayat and Rural development. The Council advises on all matters pertaining to the following:

  • Planning and co-ordination of policies and practices.
  • Standards of safety in the road transport sector.
  • Formulate and recommend road safety programmes for implementation.
  • Suggest areas for research and development to improve safety aspects.
  • Monitor and control the road safety measures undertaken in the State.

6.0. ACTION:

Government of West Bengal will create an effective institutional mechanism to strengthen the Road Safety measures in the State and provide necessary support structures to enable each institution to play its role effectively. Some of the key actions to be undertaken are as follows:

6.1. Strengthen Road Crash Database System:

The State Police, through its State Crime Record Bureau (SCRB), collects crash data on number of accidents occurred, extent of severity, types of vehicle involved, probable causes of accidents etc. However, the crash data collected presently can be further refined in understanding the general pattern and trends of crashes, thereby contributing to the holistic analysis of crashes and further development of effective road safety interventions. Since crash data is the key source of information for the planners, facilitators and researchers, Government of West Bengal is working towards development of a comprehensive database management system. Following will be the key activities to improve the database.

  • Create a database to fit the requirements of Home, Works, Transport, Health & Family Welfare, Housing & Urban Development Department and Research Institutions.
  • All Trauma Care Centres, District Hospitals and Ambulance Services to be connected to the database.
  • Interfaces to be provided with the Centralized Motor Vehicle database of the State.
  • Capacity-building for in-depth accident analysis, investigation and reporting.
  • GIS & GPS enablement for real-time tracking of accidents.

6.2. Safe planning and design of roads:

The Government will take following measures for proper planning and design of roads:

  • Periodically identify accident-prone areas/black spots on the basis of accident intensity and severity.
  • Take corrective actions in the identified accident-prone areas/ black spots through proper planning, design and construction techniques.
  • Carry out sustainable improvements in the road network of the entire State and take necessary actions such as road markings on all NHs, SHs and installation of relevant traffic furniture.
  • Construct wayside amenities/ service centres on major road network etc. which will result in substantial reduction in road accidents/fatalities.
  • Introduce ‘Traffic Calming’ measures to physically reduce the speed in vulnerable stretches, near schools/ hospitals/ markets/ other busy community locations.
  • Conduct Road safety audit by hiring expert agencies and implement suggestions thereof.
  • Develop a handbook on ‘Road Safety Design Guidelines’ to be used by engineers at all levels in all road sector agencies covering urban and rural roads.

6.3. Safe Driving:

Driving errors cause a majority of road accidents and to address this issue, the Government intends to:-

  • Undertake sustained road safety awareness campaigns for drivers through periodic workshops and training programmes.
  • Enforce fastening of seat belts and wearing of helmets as per statutory rules.
  • Issuance of driving licenses from Automated Driving training Centre.
  • Issuance of ‘Certificate of Fitness’ for vehicles from automated Inspection and Certification centres.
  • Enforcement to check violation of basic safety requirements, drunken driving etc. and implement deterrent penal provisions including cancellation of driving license for repetitive offences as laid down in law.

6.4. Awareness, Education and Training for Road Users:

Government of West Bengal will undertake following activities to create safety awareness among road users.

  • Make road safety education programmes mandatory in schools and colleges.
  • Conduct Road safety awareness training programmes for teachers, parents and citizens.
  • Organize campaigns and orientation programmes for all categories of road users and make them aware of their respective responsibilities.
  • Special emphasis on safety of vulnerable groups like school children, the disabled and senior citizens.

6.5. Enforcement of Safety laws:

Government of West Bengal will take appropriate measures to strengthen and improve the quality of enforcement in order to ensure effective and uniform implementation across the State.

  • Equip the enforcement machinery with latest accessories/ gadgets to implement effective traffic management and enforcement
  • Strengthen the Highway Police Patrols across the state.
  • Enforcement-emphasis on overloading of passenger vehicles, drunken driving, helmetless driving, dangerous driving, fastening of seat belts and over speeding.
  • Provide continuous training to Traffic Police personnel.
  • Ensure greater accountability and introduce a system of recognition of meritorious service.

6.6. Emergency Medical Services for Road Accidents:

  • The key principle is to provide first aid that will stabilize the injured during the so called ‘GOLDEN HOUR’. Provision of trauma care ambulances with driver, helper and pharmacist/paramedic staff and establishment of trauma care centres along the NHs/SHs will be accorded topmost priority.
  • Provision for cranes at reasonable distance gaps on NH/SH for extending immediate clearance of road blockades at accident sites.
  • The Police Patrol Cars & Trauma Care Ambulances shall operate synchronously as a “Crash Rescue Unit” through the State Police Control Room which will remain connected with District Control Rooms set up for the purpose of quick response to accidents.
  • Encourage involvement of private practitioners and hospitals in management of trauma care ambulances.
  • Maintain the access roads to each emergency care hospital motorable, pothole-free and free from roadside parking or encroachments/ obstructions.
  • Train all commercial vehicle drivers in First Aid trauma care.
  • Equip the district hospitals to provide Emergency Medical Services in road accident cases.

6.7. Research for Road Safety:

The Government of West Bengal will promote research activity in road safety by identifying priority areas, funding of research initiatives and publication of reports in conferences, workshops & websites. The following activities will be carried out by Government of West Bengal:

  • Identify and nominate key institutes to carry out road safety research in the State.
  • Prepare priorities for research areas following an in-depth review of road safety data available from central ‘Accident Database’.
  • Strategy for implementing Road Safety initiatives in the State.

6.8. Strengthening Legal and Financial Environment for Road Safety:

Road Safety measures require strengthening of legal provisions and enhanced funding support for its sustainability. Government of West Bengal will undertake the following activities to ensure that the desired results are achieved.

  • Review the existing legal provisions and bring about necessary changes in the same for ensuring better adherence to the rules of the road.
  • Provide a dedicated ‘Corpus Fund’ for road safety issues and also encourage private participation in the fund-raising ventures for road safety.

No. 1732-WT dated 12.05.2015