Bhubaneswar: The transport department of the state had put together a draft memo under the title of Odisha Crash Investigation Policy, 2022 to undertake forensic investigations into traffic fatalities.
However, the government has not yet approved the idea.
A crash investigation team composed 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 is to conduct an immediate and time-bound investigation of all road accidents, especially those involving three or more fatalities, according to the draft policy.
The transportation department emphasised the need for a scientific evaluation and analysis of fatal collisions in order to identify the contributing risk factors and recommend countermeasures. In order to determine the causes (people, vehicles, and infrastructure) that contributed to the incident and the injuries that resulted, forensic examination of crashes involves the methodical collection and analysis of evidence pertaining to a road crash.
A standardised format and protocol for conducting such a crash investigation will also be outlined in the policy. The idea states that the police investigating officer will start an investigation 24 hours after an accident. The officer will promptly notify the other collision investigation team members and record the victim and eyewitness testimony.
Further, the vehicles involved in accidents will be inspected by the RTO’s technical officer. Engineers from the NHAI or the works will also make inquiries at the scene of the accidents.
The Investigating Police Officer, the Investigating Engineer from the relevant Road Owning Authority, and the Technical Officer from the Transport Department shall meet within five working days, to finish and sign the Final Crash Investigation Report.
A coordination committee led by the District Magistrate must be established to maintain coordination among the Road Crash Investigation Team members and to settle any disagreements.
The policy states that a State Level Committee will be constituted under the direction of the Transport Commissioner to ensure coordination and dispute resolution between the stakeholders.