With rising fatalities on National Highways (NHs), the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has come up with a plan to deploy ex-servicemen to check traffic violations on 11 stretches in Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar as pilot for the wider project.
Over 52,000 deaths were recorded due to traffic accidents on the NHs in 2016 with the number growing to 54,046 in 2018, as per a report by Times of India, with the share of NHs in total road deaths hovering around 33-35 per cent.
1,550 km of NHs with high accident rates have been identified for the pilot. Rs 300 crore will be utilised for development of traffic violation monitoring on these stretches with World Bank pitching in with the investment. A team of ex-servicemen will be deployed for every 60 km stretch, while static CCTV cameras will be installed at every 5 km interval.
The ex-servicemen will also get body cameras to record traffic violations along the highways. “While the fixed CCTV cameras will record violations including speeding, wrong overtaking and zig-zag driving, ex-servicemen will record other violations such as wrong parking and driving against the flow of traffic," said an official.
India, unlike several other countries, doesn’t have highway patrols with the local police tasked with maintaining order on the highways. The task however, goes neglected due to manpower shortages and central ownership of the NHs.