Editorial Team

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) will collaborate with the Government of Tamil Nadu to implement a scientific enforcement approach to road safety. A MoU for this collaboration was signed recently between the Special Task Force, Road Safety, Government of Tamil Nadu and the Centre of Excellence for Road Safety CoERS, IIT Madras.

Marking the beginning of this partnership, Dr. C. Sylendra Babu, IPS, Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, said, “It is important to understand the socio-economic burden of road accidents on society and family due to young students and breadwinners losing their lives. The adoption of a scientific approach to road safety is a must.”

The key outcomes targeted from this collaboration include:

Ø  Conduct forensic accident audits at identified crash spots and develop a comprehensive and scientific crash investigation taking into factor the Human, Vehicle and Road Environment.

Ø  Submit a detailed crash investigation report covering all aspects of safety and recommendations for the hotspots for prevention of accidents along with photographs.

Ø  Design framework for conducting empirical ground studies, identification of gaps in data collection and provide a structured methodology for data collection and analysis

Ø  Provide recommendations on data-driven process improvements in enforcement strategies.

Ø  Perform scientific evaluation of the impact of interventions implemented.

Ø  Create a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP) for effective traffic enforcement.

Speaking on the association, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras is extremely happy to collaborate with Tamil Nadu Police on the most important topic of road safety. Leveraging the technical and robust field level experience of Tamil Nadu Police along with large amount of data available with them we have no doubt that a very robust and comprehensive road safety framework will be developed through this interaction at the shortest possible time.”

Congratulating IIT Madras for being proactive, Shri. Vinit Wankhede, Additional Director General of Police and Chairperson, Special Task Force on Road Safety (STF–RS), Tamil Nadu, said, “Road safety is always effective only if safe roads and safe users complement each other (Road Safety = Safe Roads + Safe Users). Scientific Enforcement along with Road User Education contribute towards safe user We want to maximise the impact of cases we book by scientifically identifying strategies which work and which don’t and also deploying the right technology in right manner.

Shri. Vinit Wankhede also added “Police has to attend to multifarious works. In cities, we have dedicated traffic wings but traffic regulation itself takes up most of the time. In districts, very limited staff is available exclusively for enforcement and hence regular staff which has to look after law and order and crimes has to perform this function too. Limited resources mean there is a limit to the number of cases the police can book in a day or month. The key objective of this collaboration is to identify short-term and long-term solutions by district collectors and other road owning agencies and undertake the preparatory tasks to establish Tamil Nadu Road Safety Authority (TNRSA).”

Elaborating on this engagement, Prof Venkatesh Balasubramanian, Head, CoERS and Professor, RBG Labs, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras, who is coordinating this initiative, said, “CoERS at IIT Madras is eager to collaborate with the Special Task Force – Road Safety, Tamil Nadu. A scientific approach to enforcement in road safety is an essential requirement to have a preventive intervention in the pre-crash time interval. A detailed and scientific crash investigation with a comprehensive evaluation using the 3M&E model will be helpful to have insights post-crash for the stakeholders to plan and implement interventions. CoERS, along with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), GoI will look forward to implement learning from the Tamil Nadu across the country to improve road safety.”

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