With three casualties on an average in a day in road accidents in Himachal Pradesh, the police officials are banking on new initiatives to reduce accidents and better policing in the state.

Director General of Police S R Mardi said though the number of road accidents had reduced by 7 percent in Himachal, the cops would adopt new initiative of Educating, Engineering and Enforcement (EEE) to save more lives.

The number of road accidents in hill state in 2019 was 2897 in which 1109 persons died and 4842 suffered injuries as compared 3118 accidents in 2018 in which 1208 persons died and 5551 suffered injuries.

“Under the EEE initiative, the cops would education general public about road safety and traffic rules.

Further, black spots on roads would be identified and Public Works Department (PWD) will be advised to correct these using engineering techniques,” he said, adding the cops would then strictly enforce traffic rules and fine those who violate laws.

Attributing reduction in road accidents to strict enforcement of traffic rules including cancelling of licences of violators, he said the HP Police had procured 755 body cameras for cops to ensure better policing.

“The body cameras will help the cops in conducting best investigations, implementing traffic laws and maintaining law and order in the state,” he said, adding more such cameras would be procured to ensure better policing in Himachal.

Mardi said these initiatives would ensure that no one is harassed for following laws and bring in transparency in the police functioning.

Besides this, 494 CCTV cameras and 196 ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras were procured by police and these have installed at border check posts, 112 police stations and other places of importance in Himachal.

The cops would also encourage industries and hotels to install CCTV cameras as these help in catching criminals and makes it difficult for defaulters to escape the law.

HP DGP said the state police had also started e-Challan facility to fine and book violators of traffic laws in May 2019 and 750 smartphones at a cost of Rs 1.61 crores were purchased to implement the system.

So far, 3.40 lakh violators had been fined through e-challan system and a penalty of Rs 12.69 crore had recovered from defaulters.

The highest number of e-Challans were issued in Shimla district at 62,640, followed by Kangra and Chamba districts.

A total of 10.95 lakh persons were challaned under the Motor Vehicles Act in 2019 and a fine of Rs 30.42 crore was recovered from them as compared to 8.33 lakh challans and recovery of Rs 23 crore in 2018.

“Apart from this, 100 police posts in the state have been authorized to register First Information Reports (FIR) and the facility would be started in select police posts across 12 districts of the state.

The HP police have also empowered graduate pass constables to conduct investigations in cases wherein there is a provision of 3 years sentence and so far, 1399 cases were investigated by them,” he added.