Poor visibility and lack of enforcement on erring drivers on the four-way lane seem to be a major factor for rapid road accidents, according to law-abiding motorists.
Not a single day (in a month) passed off without an incident, the Madurai Rural Police admit. Be it fatal or non-fatal, the accident rate is ‘alarming', said police personnel manning highway patrol teams on the Madurai-Thirumangalam, Madurai-Melur and along the Samayanallur stretches.
Earlier, when the roads were narrow and bad, motorists drove at a normal speed fearing high costs in maintenance of vehicles.
However, with good roads laid now, many drivers' drove at abnormal speed, in a rash and negligent manner caring little for human lives. “The drivers do not care to obey lane discipline… Sudden change of lane leads to accidents, which are freak sometimes and fatal on many occasions,” they said.
Though the ambulance services led by the 108 personnel are swift in moving the victims to hospitals on any emergencies, there is very little done to educate the drivers and the people residing close to the four-way lanes, motorists' obeying road rules say.
In a fresh case, on Tuesday night, in a road accident near Othakadai, five persons were injured, while in the early hours of Wednesday, two persons were killed near Sedapatti in a road accident.
Lack of enforcement and stringent action against erring drivers too had claimed many lives, a police officer at Othakadai said.
“Though accidents are taking place at the Othakadai intersection, the authorities have not installed a caution indicator or a high-mast lamp which may help drivers' to be alert. Every time, when vehicles (coming from Melur side) take a right turn on the four-way lane near the Agricultural college to reach Othakadai, vehicles coming on the opposite direction (on the four lane) collude causing injuries and deaths,” the police added.
Similarly, Thirumangalam-Usilampatti stretch also needs reflector stickers to indicate drivers to be cautious while taking turns from the four-way lane to service roads, a policeman at Thirumangalam stretch said.
When contacted, police officers said that as a first step towards setting things in order, restructuring personnel at police station level is being initiated. Personnel who had served for three years or more in a station are being shuffled, they added.