Bhubaneswar: In a move to enhance road safety and enforce traffic regulations in Odisha, citizens are now empowered to play a pivotal role. The State Transport Authority (STA) has introduced the “Citizen Sentinel” option within the next-generation mParivahan App, allowing residents to report traffic rule violations, with a particular focus on helmetless driving.
Citizens are encouraged to actively participate in the enforcement of road safety measures using the Sentinel application developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). This initiative aims to address the pressing issue of road accidents related to two-wheelers, which accounted for approximately 34% of road accident deaths in Odisha in 2022.
To report “No Helmet Violation,” individuals can simply capture photos and videos of helmetless driving incidents using their smartphones and then upload them through the application. Following a thorough verification process, the STA will issue e-challans to the violators.
In 2022 alone, Odisha witnessed 1,695 fatalities and 2,615 injuries resulting from helmetless driving. The statistics underscore the urgency of this collaborative effort between authorities and citizens to improve road safety.
Lalmohan Sethi, Additional Transport Commissioner (Road Safety and Enforcement), emphasized the shared responsibility of road safety. He noted that while helmet usage has improved in urban areas due to consistent enforcement, rural areas and highways still witness widespread non-compliance. Pillion riders, in particular, often neglect wearing helmets, despite it being mandatory.
Sethi also explained that citizens can report violations by uploading photos and videos capturing both the rider and the pillion rider without helmets. The uploaded content should clearly display the violation, vehicle number, and automatically capture location, date, and time information from live images and videos. Importantly, the identity of those reporting traffic rule violations will remain confidential.
In the future, the Citizen Sentinel option may expand to include reporting other traffic violations. This initiative seeks to make roads safer by harnessing the collective efforts of citizens and authorities in Odisha.