Friday , 19 July 2019

“ROAD SAFETY: First Step is to Educate People”

Diwakar-RaoteDiwakar Raote, Transport Minister, Government of Maharashtra talks to TrafficInfraTech on government’s thrust area for safe mobility in the state.

The Transport Ministry’s thrust areas with regards to safe and convenient mobility ?

We are looking at an individual whether on the road or the one driving the vehicle; here safety of both the individuals is involved. One mistake byeither one can lead to a major accident.  There is a need for stringent rules and a clear guidelines that are regulated by the concerned department/authority. But, I agree, an agency/authority cannot achieve its goals, if a person is hammered every time with rules and regulations or by a way of law. Safety awareness, timely action at the accident spot and well controlled traffic management system can help.

We are going to soon release a tender, say, in three-four months for equipment to monitor the speed limit of public vehicles. As per the proposal, all the public utility vehicles like buses, taxi and rickshaws will have speed governors which would ensure the vehicles do not cross the recommended 80kmpl speed. Each and every vehicle will be monitored under the system, and this turn will keep drivers alert on the road. Any mistake committed by the driver would be automatically sent/updated on his/her mobile. With the introduction of these systems, we hope there will be some discipline on our roads.

We are also planning for GPS in all public purpose vehicles like buses, taxis and rickshaws which will be constantly monitored at our central monitoring room. We have already invited two-three consultants to give demonstrations. Only after the evaluations, the government would be able to come to a decision and adopt a most suitable and feasible system for the state.

In spite of the implementation of all latest technologies in the public transport, if the driver is not able to understand or follow the technology, the efforts go in vain.

What are the reforms in the process for issuing driver licenses? Lack of proper testing and checking on old vehicles often results in incompetent drivers on the road.

Driving licenses are issued from all over the country but we have full control on only those licenses that are being issued in the Maharashtra state. And thus, we cannot deny entry to drivers who enter or has license of other state/s. Maharashtra is coming up with a new motor vehicle act which will clearly specify/determine the age limit for the vehicle. We already have one test lab/centre in Nashik to examine old and new vehicles. We are planning to have similar centers across the state.

The new motor vehicle act will compel the vehicle owners to check their vehicles and get them tested at regular intervals in these centres/labs. Here, the vehicle will be evaluated on the basis of the number of kilometers rather than number of years it has been on the road. We have noticed that the vehicle owners do not want to give away their old vehicles. Under the new act, all unauthorized and old vehicles will be scrapped.