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Drop in fatal accidents in Goa

Panjim: For the first time in 15 years, Goa Police has recorded a significant drop in fatal accidents and a sharp increase of 48 percent in prosecution of traffic offenders. The annual crime and traffic road safety report released by Director General of Police Muktesh Chander indicates that intensive traffic enforcement drive, successful implementation of Traffic Sentinel Scheme and various related factors have attributed to decline in fatal accidents.

The data shows that in the last calendar year, 262 persons lost their lives in fatal road accidents in comparison with 328 deaths in 2017. “The 2018’s figures on fatal accidents are the lowest in last 15 years.
A series of steps by the Goa Police and Traffic Police, and efforts by Traffic Sentinels have led to this success. Dedicated efforts were made to reduce fatalities. An amalgam of careful causal analysis of road accidents, quality prosecution, modification in road engineering, massive education and awareness drive, punitive action against drunken drivers and other traffic offenders led to a 20 percent reduction in fatalities,” he said addressing a press conference on Monday.

During the last year intensive traffic enforcement under Traffic Sentinel Scheme was launched that also led to identifying 51,597 traffic violators. A total amount of Rs 66.43 lakh approximately was collected as fine from the traffic offenders.

DGP’s pet scheme was also recognized and awarded Smart Policing Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry in May 201. Chander said that its counterparts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others have showed their keen interest to replicate the scheme in their respective states. Similarly, the Bureau of Police Research and Development has called upon the Goa Traffic Police to reel off the details of the scheme.

“The Traffic Sentinel Scheme is being studied by other states. We will be happy if this community policing is spread across the country,” he commented.

On being asked about the recent spate of accusations against the Sentinels reporting violations and alleged harassment of the motorists, DGP slammed such groups with a warning to take penal action against them. “Some misguided people are blaming Sentinels. Why are they not blaming themselves for disobeying traffic laws?” he said.

Commenting on the ruckus at Shiroda after 200-odd residents were challaned for the violations, DGP stated, “What if not a Sentinel and the violators are caught by the Traffic Police, will they oppose in the same manner? We are taking action as per the Motor Vehicles Act which is a Central Act. If they have a problem, they should move the court for scrapping the Scheme. [H]

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