Pedestrian fatalities on the rise in Salem

S.P. Saravanan
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Pedestrians crossing the road at their will is a major cause of fatal accidents in Salem city.- Photo: P. Goutham
Pedestrians crossing the road at their will is a major cause of fatal accidents in Salem city.- Photo: P. Goutham

The increase in number of deaths of pedestrians on the roads of Salem has become a cause for concern.

Statistics provided by the police department showed that of the total 105 fatal accidents that took place between January 1 and September 30, 2012, 108 lost their lives of which 40 were pedestrians.

Of the total 468 non-fatal accidents during the same period, a total of 586 were injured in which over 40 per cent were pedestrians. The reason: absence of pavements on city roads, absence of road railings and medians on the National Highway from Arabic College to Kondalampatti and negligence on the part of pedestrians in crossing the road.

The city’s arterial roads, including Omalur Main Road, Sarada College Road and Cherry Road, witness chaotic situations throughout the day since pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads due to absence of pavements. Wherever there were footpaths, encroachments and unauthorised two-wheeler parking on them proved to be a bane. Absence of proper road engineering near the Regional Transport Office, AVR Roundtana and Seelanaickenpatti was a worrisome factor and four-wheelers parked on service roads on the highways added to pedestrians’ woes.

Though the city police had already submitted a proposal to the Highways Department to install railings on the stretch to prevent accidents, no action has been initiated yet.

Pedestrians too gave scant respect to traffic rules. “Pedestrians need to follow traffic rules,” added a traffic police official. ‘Though cases were booked under the Motor Vehicles Act for parking violations, it continues in the city,” he added.

A senior traffic officer told The Hindu that speed-breakers were installed near schools. Medians would be placed on arterial roads like Sarada College Road. Steps would also be taken to close median openings and provide parking area for two-wheelers and four-wheelers.

Subways, foot over bridges, provision of pedestrian crossing and adherence to traffic rules would help in reducing pedestrian fatalities on city roads, said a member of residents’ welfare association.

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