A unique project to illuminate traffic junctions, toll plazas and accident-prone zones along National/State Highways in Tamil Nadu is taking shape with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy considering a proposal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
Additional Director-General of Police (State Traffic Planning Cell) S. Rajendran said a team of experts from the ministry held discussions with the State authorities and another round of deliberations to finalise the pilot project was due later this week.
“There is hardly any lighting along the highways. Statistics reveal that at least 30 per cent of road accidents in the State took place at junctions where roads connecting towns/villages intersect with the highways. Since there is no signal or signage motorcyclists enter the expressway negligently and often get hit by speeding vehicles,” he said.
Mr. Rajendran said it was proposed to have solar power for all traffic signals, central median lights, toll plazas etc. The team met the Transport Minister and Chairman of the State Road Safety Committee Senthil Balaji and explained the modalities of implementing the project.
In a related development, 25 ‘Black Spots’ spread across four districts, identified as vulnerable to fatal road accidents, continue to remain accident-prone.
According to police sources, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways recently sought a report from the State Crime Records Bureau. It was found that at least 700 people died in the 25 ‘Black Spots’, most of which were located in Kancheepuram and Villuppuram districts, in 2012.
Explaining the dangerous zones in these two districts, a police official said the Mevalurkuppam-Irungattukottai-Pennalore-Mambakkam stretch was the most dangerous placeWhen contacted Infrastructure Consultant Dr. S.P. Palaniswamy said speed restriction was the most effective took to minimise accidents at ‘Black Spots’.