CHANDIGARH: In a bid to promote road safety and encourage prompt assistance during emergencies, the Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government is set to implement a new scheme that will provide a reward of Rs 5,000 to individuals who save the lives of road accident victims. The decision was taken during a recent meeting of the Punjab State Road Safety Council chaired by Balbir Singh.
Transport Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar and Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Balbir Singh jointly announced the scheme's implementation, which seeks to acknowledge and appreciate Good Samaritans who come to the aid of accident victims. Under the scheme, individuals rendering assistance to accident victims will receive a Good Samaritan certificate from the hospital doctor or the police. This certificate will enable them to claim the reward money through the Deputy Commissioner's office.
Speaking about the initiative, Chairman of Punjab State Road Safety Council, Laljit Singh Bhullar, emphasized that the scheme aims to foster a sense of responsibility and compassion among the citizens. By recognizing their efforts with cash awards and certificates, the government hopes to motivate more people to lend a helping hand during emergencies.
As part of the meeting, the council also approved a "Traffic Management Plan" for Amritsar, a significant tourist hub in the country. An allocation of Rs 2.56 crore has been sanctioned to transform Amritsar into a "Model Traffic City." The funds will be utilized for various road traffic management projects, procurement of ambulances and recovery vans, and the establishment of a "Road Safety and Accident Response Unit." The comprehensive project aims to alleviate traffic woes in Amritsar and enhance the city's global appeal.
Furthermore, a budget of 4 crore rupees has been released under the first phase for "District Road Safety Committees." Large districts have received Rs 20 lakh each, while small districts have been allocated Rs 15 lakh each. These funds will be utilized to launch road safety awareness campaigns and implement measures to improve road safety and traffic management in the respective districts.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Balbir Singh also highlighted the government's commitment to enhancing trauma care facilities for road accident victims. The state has set up five trauma care centers in Khanna, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Ferozepur, and Fazilka, with ongoing recruitment efforts to appoint dedicated staff for these centers. The minister emphasized that advanced emergency care facilities can directly save three out of ten lives in critical situations.
Both cabinet ministers directed the transport department officials to ensure the availability of first aid kits in government vehicles. They also emphasized the necessity of mandatory first aid training for government drivers. In addition, the officials were instructed to keep a dedicated lane open at toll plazas to facilitate the swift passage of ambulances during emergencies.
Addressing traffic-related challenges, Cabinet Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar announced the distribution of 500 e-challaning machines to the traffic police, with an additional 2500 machines to be provided soon. He also shared that CCTV installations have been implemented in Mohali since December to streamline the challan process through cameras. Efforts to rectify 277 newly identified accident-prone locations (black spots) are underway on a priority basis.