Bhubaneswar: A draft memorandum under the banner of Odisha Crash Investigation Policy, 2022 had been prepared by the Transport Department of the State to conduct forensic investigation into road fatalities.The proposal is awaiting approval of the government.
The policy calls for an immediate and time-bound investigation of all road accidents, especially the ones with three or more fatalities by a crash investigation team, consisting of a police investigating officer, a designated engineer of the concerned road owning authority (works department or NHAI) and a technical officer of the regional transport office, the draft policy said.
The transport department said it is imperative to assess and analyse the fatal accidents scientifically to understand the risk factors involved in the crashes and suggest measures to prevent such casualties. Forensic investigation of crashes is a process of systematic collection and analysis of information relating to a road traffic crash in order to identify the factors (human/vehicle/infrastructure) influencing the crash and resulting injuries.
The policy will further lay down a standardised format and procedure to carry out such a crash investigation. According to the proposal, the police investigating officer will initiate investigation within 24 hours of an accident. The officer will immediately inform the other members of the crash investigation team and record the statements of the victims and eyewitnesses.
The RTO’s technical officer will inspect the vehicles involved in accidents. The works or NHAI engineers will also conduct inquiries at the accident spots.
All the members of the Road Crash Investigation Team i.e. the Investigating Police Officer, Investigating Engineer of concerned Road Owning AuthOrity and Technical Officer of Transport Department will convene a meeting within 5 working days to finalize and accordingly sign the Final Crash Investigation Report.
To ensure that, there is coordination between the Road Crash Investigation Team members and to resolve any disputes, a coordination committee headed by the District Magistrate shall be formed.
To ensure coordination and conflict resolution between the stakeholders, a State Level
Committee under the Chairmanship of Transport Commissioner will be established, read the policy.