Trucks taking U-turn catch drivers of speeding vehicles unawares

Even as residents of Golden Rock continue to press for the construction of an underpass near the G.Corner junction on the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road, the Senthaneerpuram traffic intersection on the other end of the road overbridge on the four-lane highway is turning into an accident-prone zone.

Though an underpass has been provided beneath the road overbridge at Senthaneerpuram, a majority of the heavy vehicles, especially trucks carrying heavy loads, take a U-turn at the traffic intersection catching drivers of many a speeding vehicles on the highway unawares.

Ever since the bypass road was made four-lane, residents of Senthaneerpuram and Sangiliandapuram have been facing problems as the service lanes leading up to the two areas on either side of the highway is being used for two-way traffic.

Local residents point an accusing finger at lorries using a weigh bridge near the bridge and those transporting goods to and from a clutch of industrial units in the area. For, the vehicles use the service lanes for two-way traffic and cross over the highway at this intersection, often bringing traffic on the highway to a halt.

Though the service lanes are intended to cater to two-way traffic, they have now become convenient for truck drivers to avoid the short detour of going via the underpass. The service lanes are in effect used as a shortcut by the heavy vehicles to cross over the highway from different directions.

“Chaotic traffic conditions prevail at the junction due to criss-crossing vehicles. Very often motor-cycle riders and cyclists become the victims. Accidents have become frequent at this spot. The service lanes should be used by the vehicles only to enter the highway keeping left as per traffic rules,” says Mathiazhagan, a resident of Sangiliandapuram.

A large number of heavy vehicles, carrying heavy steel structures fabricated and transported from the fabrication units in the Thuvakudi area, also come up to intersection to take the U-turn to take the Tiruchi-Chennai Highway. Locals allege that the trucks prefer to turn at this junction using the wider turning radius rather than the narrow Ariyamangalam traffic intersection.

Many residents are sore that the city police continue to turn a blind eye to the danger posed by the service lanes used as a parking area by the lorries. Scores of lorries could be seen parked along the service lanes between Senthaneerpuram and Ariyamangalam. The vehicles are parked even on the bus bays earmarked for town buses on the service lanes at Senthaneerpuram, they point out. While traffic police personnel posted at the Ariyamangalam junction remain mute spectators to the practice, there are no personnel posted at the Senthaneerpuram junction, says Kumar, another resident.