One-way violations and reckless driving are on the rise on city roads, observes L. Srikrishna

Lack of strict enforcement of rules and regulations appears to have given way to gross traffic violations in Madurai.

It is a common scene to spot two-wheeler riders and four-wheeler drivers talking on their mobile phones while on road, particularly while waiting at traffic signals. With the ‘helmet rule’ not being enforced at all, there is a rise in number of two-wheeler riders talking on their mobile phones while riding. This practice not only presents a danger to them but also endangers the life of others.

The police seem to have stopped imposing hefty fines on offences such as two persons riding pillion on two-wheelers and rash and negligent driving. One-way and ‘no entry’ violations have also increased in the city. While not many violate the one-way rule between Outpost and Tamukkam Grounds on the busy Alagarkoil Road, it is rampant in West Perumal Maistry Street and Masi streets.

Drunk driving has become a major factor for the rise in the number of road accidents in Madurai. According to doctors in the trauma wards in Government Rajaji Hospital and leading private hospitals, 90 to 95 per cent of accidents reported between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. were the result of drunk driving. In a majority of accidents, the victims are aged below 25 years, they say, and add that chances of recovery are slim for those with serious injuries while some slip into a state of coma. The accidents also result in permanent disability for some victims, the doctors say.

On bridges

While rash driving is not uncommon on broad roads in the city, more dangerous is the practice of two-wheeler riders and motorists going at breakneck speed on bridges. A few days back, a 25-year-old youth was caught between two heavy vehicles on the narrow bridge near Madura Coats. Rash driving is also rampant on PTR Bridge in Anna Nagar and Mayor Muthu Bridge on TPK Road.

It is an irony that all these violations occur at a time when gadgets such as breathalysers to check drunken driving and cameras and radar guns to check speed violations are very much available and employed elsewhere. A nonchalant attitude of the Madurai police only encourages the violators.

A senior police officer says such violations will be seriously dealt with since the elections that needed more police manpower have come to an end.

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