Traffic control training to be given to youngsters
Traffic at the Malaparamba Junction, an important but ill-lit intersection on the arterial Kozhikode bypass road, turned chaotic on Saturday evening. The signals had suddenly failed. The crossing, which sees a free flow of traffic from both Kannur and Malappuram sides, became a muddle in minutes. A traffic policeman and a Home Guards personnel who were posted to streamline traffic stood helpless.
As the snarl turned worse, it fell upon a group of youngsters from the nearby shops and autorickshaw stand to step in and clear the mess, which they did so by force, cajoling and choice swear words thrown in.
This is a regular feature during most traffic blocks. And, the district authorities seem to have finally woken up to the possibility of roping in local people to manage traffic during night.
A high-level meeting held by District Collector C.A. Latha with police and the Motor Vehicles Department officials on Monday decided to give special traffic control training to enterprising youngsters who were willing to join in the endeavour.
The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) and the police would provide the necessary training to the volunteers, the Collector said.
The meeting was part of urgent brainstorming among authorities in the backdrop of the rising number of road accidents in the city.
The Collector identified the Ambalappadi junction along the Pooladikunnu bypass as a spot that required immediate road safety measures. She sought the installation of solar lights, blinkers, and traffic warnings in the area.
Regional Transport Officer Rajeev Puthalath advised the officers to increase night patrolling on highways and extend the use of speed radar equipment.
The meeting decided to take stern action against under-age drivers. Checking by the police and MVD personnel would be intensified. The authorities also noted that youngsters often used deserted thoroughfares at odd-hours to indulge in stunts on two-wheelers. The Collector suggested that a campaign be launched to create awareness among parents of the dangerous consequences of such acts.
182 deaths in 2013
Statistics issued by the city police show that 182 persons were killed in Kozhikode city in 2013. The figure was 174 in 2012. Several accidents were reported on the Kozhikode bypass and the National Highways in the suburbs.
Some of the identified accident spots include Nadakkavu, Eranhipalam, Thondayad, Elathur, Feroke, Mankavu, Malaparamba, Ramanattukara, Puthiyangadi, Arayidathupalam, and Kunnamangalam.
The majority of accidents were during night hours. More accidents occur between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. However, recent studies reveal that accidents have increasingly occurred between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. as well.
Two-wheelers were involved in more accidents. As many as 17,6158 cases were registered in 2013 with as many as 4,508 persons charged for riding under the influence of alcohol and 6,000 booked for riding without helmets.