Chandigarh (PTI): Taking serious note of the deaths of eight people in two major road accidents in less than 24 hours, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed state traffic authorities to crack down on over-speeding and violation of traffic rules by vehicles, especially buses.

The Chief Minister further asked the transport department to examine the feasibility of installing speed governors in public transport.

Amarinder Singh has ordered the transport department and traffic police to launch a statewide drive to prevent such avoidable mishaps, an official release quoting him said here.

The chief minister condoled the deaths and expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the grief-stricken families of the deceased.

Notably, four persons were killed yesterday when the car in which they were travelling was involved in a collision with a private bus in Barnala district.

In another mishap today, four persons including two women were killed and eleven others injured in an accident involving three vehicles in Bathinda district’s Talwandi Sabo town.

Among other measures, the chief minister has directed the traffic police to check over-speeding and overcrowding, as well as plying of vehicles converted into public transport through unauthorized modification, across the state.

He has also asked the transport department to check out the possibility of installation of speed governors in public transport, especially buses and trucks, “which are found to be the main culprits in majority of the road accidents in Punjab”.

Instructions have also been issued to the Public Works Department (PWD) to ensure that precisely engineered and properly marked speed breakers are in place on all state highways and roads, including link roads, along with other necessary measures to minimise accidents.

Warning that no laxity on these issues would be tolerated, the chief minister has asked the concerned officials to expedite the process of review of bus permits and take all illegally plying buses off the roads at the earliest.

“The review process, which covers former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s Orbit buses that have been in the news for a long time for their brazen violation of road safety rules, has already commenced,” the release said.

The chief minister also assured that work on setting up a road safety authority to study the causes of frequent accidents on the state’s roads, as decided by his cabinet at its maiden meeting, had already been initiated.

The recommendations of the authority, which would be the first-of-its-kind in region, would be taken up on priority to make the state’s roads accident-free and safe, it said.