Forty seven couples were among the 4,286 people who died in road accidents in Kerala in 2012, State’s ADGP (Intelligence) T.P. Senkumar has said.

“A second’s negligence by motorists can orphan children,” he said. Mr. Senkumar, a former Transport Commissioner, was delivering the keynote address at Vyttila Mobility Hub on Saturday at the inauguration of the digital signage system installed by the Motor Vehicles’ Department (MVD).

Deploring the horrendous driving culture in vogue in Kerala, he said 95 per cent of road users violated rules.

“The situation is better even in many Africa countries. In countries like the US, there is zero tolerance for traffic rule violations. If need be, the police chase violators and catch them. But here, the police is looked upon as a villain if they try to enforce rules like the mandatory wearing of helmet. Few people know that over 1,000 helmetless two wheeler riders die every year in Kerala.”

He stressed the need for automated rule enforcement and more surveillance cameras to keep tab on motorists. He said the training imparted to about 5,000 tipper lorry drivers in Ernakulam by the department considerably brought down accidents involving lorries.

Increase in vehicles

He said between 2001 and 2011, the number of vehicles in the State increased from 28 lakh to 72 lakh.

“The number of vehicles increased by 44 lakh, whereas the increase in population was just 14 lakh. However, the number of enforcement personnel of the MVD remains at just about 450.”

Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed inaugurated the digital signage system by switching on the digital screens. In his presidential address, Benny Behanan, MLA said Kerala had the highest road accident rate in India. Better law enforcement by adopting technological advancements and a good road-use culture were crucial to saving lives, he said. Mayor Tony Chammany; Central Zone ADGP A. Hemachandran; Deputy Transport Commissioner P.A. Sainuddin and DGM of SBT P. Mayadevi spoke. The SBT has sponsored the 12 screens installed at the mobility hub.

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