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Road Accident Data Monitoring System soon

Ajai Sreevatsan

All accidents will be uploaded to database and then geo-referenced on a map

—Photo: Special Arrangement

A grab of the Road Accident Data Monitoring System showing the accident profile over a section of the city between August 1, 2008, and October 2009.

CHENNAI: Victims of road accidents are eventually reduced to just a nameless, faceless statistic. It has not been easy taking measures to mitigate or avoid accidents because of the lack of an usable database, which registers the precise cause and circumstances surrounding the accident.

All this could change, once the system currently being tested by the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project (TNRSP) wing is operationalised by the second week of December. The Road Accident Data Monitoring System (RADMS) is part of the road safety component of the TNRSP, which is financed through a loan from the World Bank.

“The system will be a web-based application and all accidents which have been recorded by the 10,000-odd traffic police stations in the State will be uploaded to the database and then geo-referenced on a map,” said R. Thiagarajan, Project Director, TNRSP.

The Geographic Information System-based application will help map all information contained in the Accident Report Form (ARF), which is filled by the traffic police officer at the scene of the accident.

Using the data, the initiative seeks to analyse aspects such as identifying junctions where a cluster of accidents are reported, the time of the day when the maximum number of accidents takes place in a particular zone and modifying traffic flow for those few hours, and isolating the most common reason for fatal accidents in different localities.

According to Mr. Thiagarajan, traffic flow in ‘black spots’ where the highest number of fatal accidents are reported will be modified to mitigate the number of fatalities.

“The information can be analysed over a period of time as well. Thus monitoring the effectiveness of junction modification and traffic flow changes in bringing down the number of accidents will be possible. The data will also be very useful in long-term decision making,” he added. Once the system is launched, hand-held devices fitted with GPS and a camera would be provided to traffic cops. The ARF will be accessible only after the GPS coordinates of an accident have been obtained and can be digitally created using the device.

The RADMS central database will function from the State traffic police cell and an inter-departmental mechanism involving the State Highways, Transport Department and the Traffic Police is being evolved to meet the operational requirements.

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