The State and all concerned in road safety should take it as a mission to bring down the deaths in accidents taking place in Kerala from the 3950 in 2010 to 1200 by 2020, State Police Chief, Jacob Punnose said.
It is estimated that the vehicle population in the State will touch 1.5 crore from the current 69 lakh the way the vehicles are hitting the road daily. The United Kingdom, which has a vehicle population of 4 crore has 3200 road accident deaths compared to 3950 in the State last year.
“The target for the State should be to bring down the road accident deaths to 1200 in nine years by adhering to the rules and regulations, strict enforcement and inculcating a road culture among the road users to be on par with the United Kingdom”, Mr. Punnose said.
Giving a grim picture of the road accident scenario in Kerala, the State Police Chief said 65 persons are getting killed in the State roads for everyone lakh compared to eight for every lakh in the United Kingdom last year.
The State is behind many law and order issues in the country, but ahead in the case of road accidents deaths. Of the 69 lakh vehicles registered in the State, petty cases had been registered against only 32 lakhs despite the rampant violations like jumping signals, overspeeding, overtaking, drunk driving and overtaking through the left side. “This reveals that only in two years the vehicles are being checked. The lack of staff in the police and the Motor Vehicles Department is a problem.”
The State Police Chief said the police cannot use batons and guns to enforce rules and regulations in the road and to make the roads orderly. For many enforcing the rules like wearing helmet, seatbelt, usage of mobile phones, among other things is a nuisance. The people should bear in mind it is for road safety the rules are being enforced.
Pointing out that roads have to be shared among the various road users, Mr. Punnose said road culture should be developed and followed by all. Three to four crore traffic violations takes place in the State daily and it is not possible for the men and machine to book all of them. Hence, creating road safety awareness is the only solution.