Last year, 70 per cent of the 13,000 deaths in accidents in the State involved automobiles. About 40 per cent of the deaths occurred when pedestrians were crossing the roads.

These statistics emerged when a set of six CDs on road safety were released on Wednesday at a function organised by the Rotary Club of Madras East. The short films, made by Kavithalayaa Productions and starring actor Suriya, will be distributed to cinema theatres, schools, colleges and companies.

The films drive home the need to observe road rules, said Rotary International District Governor W.V. Anand who released the CD. The first copy of the films was presented to Shakeel Akhter, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) and M. Ravi, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

Mr. Akhter urged road users to observe basic courtesy. While it was important to focus on enforcement, road engineering and education of public, evaluation of accidents and its causes were also important, he said.

In countries such as India and Bangladesh, road traffic accidents resulted in a huge economic loss.

The majority of the victims were from low income groups who borrowed heavily to pay for the medical expenses.

Two-wheeler and pillion riders were the most vulnerable, and 90 per cent of the riders die because of not using helmets, he said.

“As road users each of us had the right to check violations. Anyone who notices a violation can send a short message through their mobile phone to the police,” he said.

Mr. Ravi called for enlisting the cooperation of the public and emphasised on the need to reach an injured person to a hospital without delay, using the emergency response system. Eighty per cent of those who died in the State were in the 18 to 35 age group, he said.

President of Rotary Club of Madras East J. Balaraman said the films were made after research into what caused the accidents. Though 15 reasons for accidents emerged, it was decided to focus on certain important ones, he said.

Each film focuses on a particular theme and carries a scroll on accident statistics in 2009.

More In: Chennai