Bhubaneswar: Stating that most of the road accidents happen due to the drivers’ faults around 78%, Commerce and Transport Minister, Govt. of Odisha, Ramesh Chandra Majhi, said Government and private initiatives should be made to spread awareness about to prepare skilled drivers and reduce accidents.
Speaking at the launch of Road Safety Driver Accreditation System (RSDAS), conceptualized by Social Association for Everyone (SAFE), here on Thursday, Chief Guest Mr. Majhi said, “The Government has been working to reduce road accidents. Altogether 24,336 driving license have been suspended for different violations. Good that SAFE has come forward to promote drivers’ well-being and reduce accidents.”
Chief Speaker and Editor of Odia daily Sambad, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, said, “Influential people don’t obey rules in our country. We know how we get driving license. We have to obey rules.
“Sensitising drivers is also important. People should understand that by rash driving we are putting others in misery. An accident not only harms one person but also leads to the loss of time and money at a bigger scale. If done properly, RSDAS accreditation system, which will produce better drivers, may make the roads safer.”
Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) driver Nityananda Samant, who has a record of no accidents in his 33 years career, was felicitated by the Minister on behalf of SAFE.
Eminent social worker and former Director, Health Department, Dr. Seba Mohapatra welcomed the new concept. “Since the driver is in charge of many lives, they need to be skilled. Another aspect of the problem is the drivers are overworked. Skilled drivers who have retired should train new drivers and a certified system should be followed to give jobs to drivers.”
Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) General Manager Sarat Kumar Patel said, “We are taking several steps, including making rest rooms for drivers at bus stands so that they get adequate rest between their duty hours. We have to know the reasons to find solutions.”
SAFE president Dillip Kumar Panda said, “Driving is one of the top dangerous activities and we do it on a daily basis. According to data, around 1.5 lakh people die every year in our country due to road accidents and property worth Rs 55,000 crore is lost. This is as big a problem like any natural calamity.
“It needs big time attention and Government and private organisations which have large number of vehicles should come forward to effect behavioral changes among drivers and make our roads safer.”
RSDAS aims to provide accreditation and behavioral training to two lakh drivers in order to spread road safety in the true sense of the term by 2020.