Road accidents claiming human lives and physically disabling people have become a regular feature in the Central Travancore district of Pathanamthitta, despite the accident-control initiatives reportedly being taken by various responsible quarters in recent times.

Most of the victims in the district are motorcyclists. According to the police, as many as 31 persons were injured in the past one week alone in accidents involving two-wheelers in different parts of the district.

In many cases, over-speeding of KSRTC buses and lorries were reported to be the cause of accident. Though the government has taken measures to ensure speed governors attached to heavy vehicles, there were allegations of laxity on the part of the law enforcement agency in this regard.

A TV reporter working for Surya TV in Pathanamthitta, Shaji Alex, had succumbed to serious injuries when a speeding KSRTC rammed into his car in Adoor town on Sunday night.

Erratic driving by autorikshaws violating all traffic norms, are another menace in almost all major towns and even on the village roads in the district.

Police appear to be more keen on petty cases, imposing fine on helmetless motorcyclists, than checking overspeeding of vehicles, alleged Dr. Thomas P.Thomas, academic.

Traffic awareness programme

Meanwhile, Kerala Police have launched a district-level traffic awareness programme for school children on Monday.

Mr. K.K.Chellappan, Superintendent of Police, inaugurated the programme. In his inaugural address, Mr. Chellappan stressed the need for making school children properly aware of the traffic norms, rules and regulations.

The programme involves a drama, 'Pappu Urangaatha Veedu', staged by policemen attached to the traffic unit in Thiruvananthapuram, and informative talks, said Mr. P.K. Jagadeesh, DySP.

The awareness programmes were held at Vadasserikkara and Chittar on Tuesday. The programme will be held in Kozhencherry and Ranni on Wednesday and at Thiruvalla and Mallappaly on Thursday.

The five-day traffic awareness programme will conclude with the staging of the drama in Adoor and Pandalam on Friday, Mr. Jagadeesh said.