A one day workshop was organised in Pune by the All India Federation of Motor Vehicle Department (AIFMVDTOA) and Executive Officers Association of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Department. The workshop, under the Road Safety 2020 programme, was organised in collaboration with the Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE), Washington DC.
Attended by over 30 representatives of the Federation from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan, the workshop participants investigated the process, entities and problems associated with accident analysis in India. Transportation tools and technologies used in the US were demonstrated through presentations. Their applicability in India was discussed too. A broad definition of the state of practices in investigating the causes of accidents was arrived at and a consensus was reached to scientifically investigate the causes.
Ashfaq Ahamed, President, All India Federation of Motor Vehicle Department Technical Executive Officers Association told TrafficInfraTech, “We do not follow any process of scientific assessment of accidents nor do we ever station any specialist anywhere. For this, we got in touch with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in the US. The institute’s engineers will now train our people to find out the cause of accidents so that preventive action can be taken and the accidents are not repeated.”
The ITE was represented at the workshop by its Senior Director, Dr Siva Narla who said, “The primary objective of the workshop was to find out the current state of practice by, or for, the road transport authorities/officials. The second objective was to enlighten the officers on advanced technology and on tools and prophecies of road safety. My primary impression on road safety is about culture and not about police or government or any other body. Right now we are just building capacity but that is not enough. Our fatality rates are very high as compared with the number of vehicles and kilometres travelled. Recently a minister’s son died in a road accident. Had he used the seat belt, his life would have been saved.”
It was decided at the workshop to begin following National Road Safety guidelines and international certification programmes for accident analysis and reconstruction, in the next two years. Various agencies that could improve road safety in India as a part of the global decade of action for road safety under Road Safety Vision 2020, were also identified.