In a year the state improved its performance on road safety parameters, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday announced a dedicated road safety wing to be created in the highways department to further give impetus to the good safety performance.
“In order to further improve Tamil Nadu’s performance in road safety and to reduce avoidable loss of life, injury and damage to property, the government will launch the Tamil Nadu Road Safety Mission, to co-ordinate the efforts of different departments and agencies to achieve the goal of Road accident-free Tamil Nadu,” Panneerselvam said in his budget speech.
One of the targets under the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2020 is halving the number of fatalities and injuries in road accidents, he said, adding that Tamil Nadu has received an award from the Centre for best performance in road safety in 2018.
“The number of fatalities has declined by 38.87 per cent in 2019 compared to 2016,” he noted.
Pointing out that awareness programmes, driver education, law enforcement, engineering solutions to reduce accidents and efforts to save lives post accidents will be taken up in a co-ordinated manner, he said that funds and schemes from different departments including Highways, Municipal Administration, Rural Development, Police, Transport and Health will be converged with the revamped Tamil Nadu Road Safety Fund and the total annual allocation for road safety stepped up to Rs 500 crore.
“A separate dedicated Road Safety wing will be created in the Highways Department to ensure that road safety elements are incorporated within the design of roads. Road safety cells will be created in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Corporations,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu Accident and Emergency Care Initiative (TAEI) is being implemented since June 2017. “After the implementation of TAEI at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, death due to trauma has come down from 8.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent. At present, 80 strategically located Government Medical Institutions have been designated as TAEI centres,” he said.