<strong>1. SUPREME COURT SETS GUIDELINES TO CURB ROAD ACCIDENTS</strong>
<li>The Supreme Court came out with a set of guidelines to tackle rising accidents, including addition of a chapter on road safety in school curriculum and audits of two most accident-prone stretches of highways/expressways in each state as a pilot programme.</li>
<li>The suggestions included framing of a road safety policy, constitution of state road safety councils, establishment of a lead agency to act as the secretariat of the road safety council and coordinate all activities such as licensing issues, acquisition of road safety equipment such as cameras and speed governors. It also sought strengthening of norms for crash testing of light vehicles.</li>
<strong>2. TRACKING SLEEPY DRIVERS</strong>
A “VIDEO game” for train drivers to check if they are fit to drive before they are assigned duty, and a special software that sends signals if a driver is sleepy while on the wheel. These are two solutions from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur that the Indian Railways has decided to test to address a longstanding problem – sleepy drivers.
<li>Named ‘Walopi’ (Warning Loco Pilots) and ‘Chemvist’ (Check My Vigilance State), the two technologies, which have been patented by IIT-Kharagpur Professor will now be developed for Indian Railways.</li>
<li>Both the technologies are based on what is globally called PERCLOS or percentage of eyelid closure over the pupil over time, and reflects slow eyelid closures (“droops”) rather than blinks.</li>
<li>Chemvist’ uses Electrooculography (EOG) signals, which essentially give the voltage difference between the cornea and retina of the eye. Drivers will have to wear a specially-designed headband to play a “video game” on a screen. The headband will detect if the driver is fatigued or will be alert for the next few hours.</li>
<li>Walopi’, on the other hand, checks the on-board level of alertness. It uses a camera with face-detection technology, which assesses if the driver is falling asleep. Equipped with night vision, the camera will continuously screen the driver’s facial information and, if anything is out of line, will send alert signals to everyone concerned.</li>
<strong>3. CYCLONIC STORM ‘OCKHI'</strong>
Southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are expected to witness moderate to heavy rainfall due to formation of cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ .The storm could also intensify into severe cyclone and the cyclone is expected to have a wind speed of 65-75 km per hour and that the sea will be rough. The name Ockhi, given by Bangladesh, is expected to move further north-westward towards Lakshwadeep.
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