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Tuesday , 14 May 2024

INTERVIEW – Managing Highway Safety

To Dr. Anita Jamadar, Superintendent of Police, Highway Safety Police, Aurangabad, manning the Highway traffic is not just a Police duty. It is all about getting motivated to contribute to the welfare of the society.

You are holding the position of Superintendent of Police, HSP, Aurangabad. How challenging or inspiring has been your journey to reach this commendable and responsible post?

There was a notion that women are not capable of uniform service like police. In such an environment, constant motivation to do something for the welfare of society led to my getting selected in the police department at a very high rank. The journey has not been very easy. I have to balance professional and family life.

I feel happy that I am leading the HSP Aurangabad range, which is saving the lives of many people and also bringing changes in the lives of people. The current responsibility is helping me to fulfil my goal in life, that is to contribute positively for the welfare of society.

What are the systems put in place in Aurangabad to maintain road safety and ensure compliance of traffic regulations? What are the innovative solutions you could bring in?

The jurisdiction of Aurangabad range highway safety police includes eight districts of Marathwada region and we have 13 highway police centres. In our jurisdiction, there are 3029 km of national highway and 2404 km of state highway.

We are dedicated and specialised authority for highway patrolling and safety. We implement a multi-pronged strategy to ensure road safety. The activities include prevention of road accidents through effective implementation of motor vehicle act, analysis of black spots and accident-prone areas and corrective action to reduce black spots. Also being implemented are community collaboration programmes like Mrityunjay Doot to provide medical care to accident victims in golden hours. We are constantly taking efforts to create awareness about traffic rules & road safety and ensure seamless movement of vehicles on national and state highways.

Compliance of traffic regulation is achieved through various ways. Stringent action is against violators of MV act. Regular fine and e-challan lead to a deterrence effect. Second most important way is actively creating awareness of traffic regulation among people and how it is important for the development of the road sector. Also conducted are regular awareness programmes at schools, colleges and marketplaces. We actively communicate with the community to ensure that they are aware about traffic rules and regulations.

One innovative solution brought in by us is ensuring participation from local people—workers at highway petrol pumps, mechanics, hotel/dhaba employees etc– in responding to road accidents. We are taking their help to get immediate medical treatment to the accident victims. Proper training is given to the resource persons in first aid and other actions needed in an emergency. Now they are working as an arm of the highway police.

Secondly, in our challan system, we’ve brought in new technology that has decreased Police and Public conflict during traffic regulation. Use of radium reflector very effectively–on bridges, diversions etc– has decreased accidents especially during transport of sugarcane and also during night time.

How challenging is it to hold a difficult function like traffic management on highways?

The HSP jurisdiction is in both the state and national highways. It is difficult to ensure traffic regulation on highways as jurisdiction is widely spread and it needs immense collaboration with other departments like NHAI and PWD. There is lack of awareness regarding road safety especially in rural areas. But tackling such a difficult issue is advantageous and satisfactory. We save lives of people through our constant effort and dedication. Many a time, accidents are preventable. So we are working to achieve the goal of zero death from preventable accidents.

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