‘The driver crossed the barricades at break-neck speed’
The Vijayawada City Traffic Police, reacting to the news report in these columns on Wednesday, titled ‘A police failure?’ said that they had been doing their bit, but the rash driving of the private bus driver of SVR Travels had led to the gruesome accident in which five persons were killed.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police A. Venkata Ramana told The Hindu that the police had placed barricades, but the driver had crossed all of them and went at break-neck speed to hit the motor-cyclist and the police booth in the corner before falling on its side killing people sleeping there.
Not willing to take the blame, the ACP said that from Wednesday, the city police had begun manning junctions with a special team of traffic personnel headed by a Circle Inspector and five constables assisting him.
“It was physically impossible to deploy a large number of personnel even in the dead of the night, the motorcyclists also do not watch for the amber blinking traffic signals to slow down and proceed, leading to such accidents,” he said.
Without detailing the exact position of the zig-zag barricading on that fateful night on the National Highway No.5 and No.9 that approach the Benz Circle, Mr. Ramana said that the police was trying to improve the visibility of the Barricades, and strengthen them to avoid such accidents.
Drive to be launched
The special team would be stationed at one of the key junctions each day at Gannavaram, Gannavaram Airport, Pottipadu, Varadhi, Karlapudi, and Benz Circle, to stop all the buses and lorries to check for over-speeding, drunken driving and other aspects.
Special drive would be launched between Telaprolu and Dondapadu. All the statistics of this ill-fated bus were taken from the toll plazas to ascertain the speed of the vehicle, he added.
Detailing the special attention that was paid to the Fakirgudem Junction between the Scew Bridge and Benz Circle for the past two years, the ACP said that in year 2010 there were 12 accidents, in 2011 only 11 and six in 2012 and none after October last year. The change had come as speed-breakers were built on the approach roads to this junction (Fakirgudem) with police initiative when the municipal corporation and VGTM-UDA had neglected despite several reminders.
Keywords: Vijayawada Traffic Police