The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has collaborated with the Tamil Nadu government to implement a scientific enforcement approach to road safety. Among the key outcomes targeted from this collaboration include conducting forensic accident audits at identified crash spots and developing a comprehensive and scientific crash investigation taking into factor the human, vehicle, and road environment.
It also includes submitting a detailed crash investigation report covering all safety aspects and recommendations for the hotspots to prevent accidents along with photographs, designing a framework for conducting empirical ground studies, identification of gaps in data collection, and providing a structured methodology for data collection and analysis.
Further, providing recommendations on data-driven process improvements in enforcement strategies, performing scientific evaluation of the impact of interventions implemented and creating a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP) for effective traffic enforcement are among the other targeted outcomes.
“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 the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), GoI will look forward to implementing learning from Tamil Nadu across the country to improve road safety,” explained Prof Venkatesh Balasubramanian, Head, CoERS and Professor, RBG Labs, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras.
The 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 families as young students and breadwinners are losing their lives. The adoption of a scientific approach to road safety is a must.”
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 a 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 in the shortest possible time.”
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 users. 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 the right manner.”