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Fatal road accidents on the rise

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L. Srikrishna

Lack of enforcement, indiscipline, bad roads, rash driving cited as reasons

MADURAI: The number of people killed in road accidents reported in the city and a few extension colonies had risen by at least 40 per cent this year (January-October) when compared with the numbers during the corresponding period in 2007 and 2006, police sources say.

Though various reasons are attributed to it, lack of enforcement by the traffic police, indiscipline among motorists and bad roads are cited as major reasons for the rise in the accident rate.

According to the data available with the police department, 119 persons were killed in the city alone between January and October this year as against 85 persons killed during the corresponding period the previous year. In the first 10 months of 2006, a total number of 107 persons were killed on the roads.

Higher number of incidents

The number of fatal accidents in a month rose to an all-time high during June this year when as many as 21 persons lost their lives.

This was followed by 19 persons in May; 14 in January; 13 in July; 11 in April and 10 in October

In 2007, the highest number of fatal cases was reported in October with 15, followed by 14 in June and 10 in March.

A traffic police officer admitted that in most of the fatal accidents reported, the victims riding two-wheelers were not wearing helmets.

In other cases, he attributed it to bad roads, rash and negligent driving, talking over mobile phones and drunken driving for the increase in the rate of fatal accidents.

A traffic investigation officer said that the rise in fatal accident cases stood at an alarming 40 per cent this year when compared with 2007.

Rs. 3.50 crore fine

Despite the city police had collected a whopping fine of over Rs. 3.50 crore as fine for various traffic offences during the last 14 months, the increasing number of fatal accidents is a cause for concern, he admitted.

Traffic police said that apart from fatal cases (304 A), accidents with simple injuries too were increasing in the city.

Most accident prone zones include Alagarkoil Road, By-pass stretch between Palanganatham and Hotel Germanus- Mapillai Vinayagar Theatre round about and Kamarajar Salai-Teppakulam road.

A retired police officer said that with the rise in vehicle population, functioning of traffic police should be more transparent.

They should educate motorists in such a way that the offences do not recur. “Today, we can see many school students using two-wheelers in the city … This should be stopped.”

He also said that the rules of issuance of driving licence should be made more stringent as easy access at the Regional Transport Office caused concern among the law abiding road users.

Commissioner of Police K. Nandabalan told reporters a few days ago at a traffic function near Simakkal that plans are underway to improve and regulate traffic in the temple city.

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