Representational image
Representational image

Mumbai: Several start-up companies are likely to join hands with the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) on a pilot basis, after their trial run in the Road Safety Week, which was flagged off by Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Monday. Sources said these start-ups are working towards developing web and mobile applications ranging from those on how to minimise driver distractions to preventing collisions.

Most accidents are because of speeding, use of mobile phones while driving, drunk driving, jumping traffic signals and avoiding the use of safety gear like seatbelts and helmets, according to data from the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP).

Further, the data shows, of the 912 accidents registered till August 2018, more than 360 were fatal while 490 fatal accidents were recorded in 2017 and that 38 per cent of these fatal accidents involved motorists not using safety gear like seatbelts and helmets.

Amitesh Kumar, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, “Although wearing helmets has been made mandatory as per the Motor Vehicles Act, only one per cent of pillion-riders wear helmets. Worse still, fewer than one per cent of them strap the helmets properly.”

To increase awareness among motorists, the ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) is observing ‘Road Safety Week’ from February 4-10. This year’s theme is ‘Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha’. Joining the government in its endeavour to ensure safe roads, is the start-up community, which is attempting to make roads safer using technology. Start-up companies are delving into the various factors that cause road accidents to come up with solutions. Kumar said,

“The MTP officials are always open to new technologies and ways to manage traffic and decrease accidents and fatalities. With active participation from start-ups, it would be a big help if they could provide us platforms or mediums to help decrease accidents.”

The traffic department will closely scrutinise the use and effectiveness of the various mobile applications and platforms during the Road Safety Week. These apps are expected to help motorists detect crashes, alert them as they cross the speed limit and also restrict the driver from speeding if they are not wearing seatbelts, said an official, requesting confidentiality.

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