Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 12:07 IST

Free tea for truck drivers at night: Odisha’s novel solution to combat road accidents

Arrangements are being made for serving free tea to truck drivers at night in Odisha. Hotel and dhaba owners have also been roped in for the same.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
Free tea being served to truck drivers in Odisha's cities at night | Image: ANI
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Bhubaneswar: In a bid to minimise road accidents involving heavy vehicles on the highways- especially trucks, the Odisha government has come up with a novel solution. The authorities in Odisha have planned to serve free tea to drivers of trucks at night. 

Informing about the decision, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu said that all arrangements have been made for offering free tea to drivers of heavy vehicles travelling at night. Most of the accidents take place on national highways in the early hours as drivers of trucks and other heavy vehicles fall asleep. Therefore, the state government has decided to provide them with tea free of cost for their refreshment, Sahu said. 

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Recently, the State Transport Authority (STA) has directed the RTOs to undertake stringent enforcement on drunken driving, juvenile offence, helmetless driving, driving at excess speed, using mobile while driving, wrong-side driving and overloading in goods carriage for the entire month of December given the high rate of fatalities due to fog and other climatic conditions

Hotels and Dhabas roped in, space for resting

The regional transport officers (RTOs) of all districts have been asked to identify roadside hotels and dhabas on highways, where the drivers will be offered free tea to prevent drowsiness at night, the minister said, adding that they can also take rest there.

Apart from this initiative, the state government has been setting up truck terminals and wayside amenity centres along major roads of Odisha, where the drivers can take rest and have refreshments, she said. The minister said the truck terminals have been established in some districts while the collectors of the remaining districts have been asked to identify suitable land to set up such terminals.

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As per a statement issued by the transport minister in the assembly during the last session, a total of 54,790 accidents were reported in the state in the last five years (2018 to 2022) in which 25,934 people died and 51,873 were injured. 

 

(With agency inputs) 

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 12:07 IST