What’s good for ‘goose on the road’ in Tamil Nadu should be good for the gander in Kerala. This rings clear from Tamil Nadu’s success in customising and implementing a road accident data management system platform originally built for its western neighbour.

Thiruvananthapuram-based IBS Software Services developed parent Geographical Kerala Accident Management System (GeoKAMS) way back in 2004.

But apparently to no great avail since the police is using the data in splendid isolation unlike the case in Tamil Nadu where it is shared with others and promptly acted on.

Implementation of road safety measures has since brought down the number of accident fatalities in Tamil Nadu from 13.39 for every 10,000 population to 10.09.

Kerala has already implemented the core solution, and the additional cost to wire up the departments would be less than Rs 1 crore to start with, an IBS official said.

This will help all departments and the traffic safety cell with data to take corrective action to prevent accidents.

PEER PRESSURE

The State government has been approached to take the initiative in this regard, the official said. Accidents are a drain on the economy, translating to three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

A five per cent reduction in the number of roads accidents can save the State around Rs 450 crore.

Meanwhile, a group of peer States elsewhere in the country has decided to try out the experiment with support from the Centre. They include Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal.

FIRST OFF BLOCK

Kerala was the first to try out a software solution in GeoKAMS for recording and analysing accidents for road safety engineering initiatives in the State.

GeoKAMS was developed to meet the needs of the police and the 19-point reporting requirements of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

But comprehensive corrective measures are not in place yet and therefore no real action taken to reduce the number of accidents, the IBS official said.

Ideally, the departments of motor vehicles, public works and health, among others, should be linked up to make any impression on the appalling road safety record.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 19, 2012)
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