The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced a new format for reporting accidents for police personnel. The new Accident Reporting format has been developed by an expert committee and will now be adopted in all states and union territories. The ministry says that the new format makes it easier to record an accident for the police and will give access to valuable data to prevent road accidents.
Presently, the recording of accident data is done in FIRs (First Information Report) at police stations. However, the ministry says that the records are liable to be subjective based on the police personnel filling up according to their understanding, and will assign the reason for accident based on their interpretation. The interpretation limits them based on their limited technical understanding, police persons recording data and the nature of impacting vehicles, understanding of road engineering defects, and other such technical details. This, in turn, could see the certain details of the accident being unreported or under-reported.
The new format prompts to eliminate the uncertainties with a more streamlined method of recording accident data. The Accident Recording Form has five sections that have been designed to capture all relevant information. This includes information like accident identification/location, road condition, vehicles involved and victim details. Furthermore, recording of the accident site will also play a crucial role to understand the road design at the site.
Section A of the Road Accident Form contains accident identification details like location, vehicle type, while Section B captures road conditions and features like culvert, gradient and pothole. Section C will capture details about the vehicle - both motorised and non-motorised as well as details like overloading. Section D will capture traffic violations by drivers and Section E will capture details about persons other than drivers involved in the accident. The form is simple and would be easy for the police persons at thana levels to understand and fill up. The ministry further added that it will minimise subjective levels.
The committee constituted by MoRTH comprises experts from IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, WHO, senior officers from the Police and Transport Departments of States, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In addition to the new form, the committee has also developed a corresponding annual road accident data Reporting Format comprising 17 forms in which the states and UTs will be asked to furnish details of road accident data from the previous year to the ministry. With the accumulated data, the Transport Research Wing will be analysing the cause of accidents and black spots that are common with road mishaps. Over a period of data of time, the ministry said that it will be able to identify a pattern causing the accidents, which will help device solutions.
The new Accident Reporting Form was devised by the committee after studying local and international format of reporting accidents and is targeted only at police personnel. The ministry further stated that it the police will be trained via workshops to adopt the new format.