L. Srikrishna

MADURAI: A sudden rise in the number of road accidents in the last five days in different parts of southern districts had come as a wake up call to the police to urgently examine ways that would prevent fatalities, said Inspector General of Police (South Zone) S.S. Krishnamoorthy.

While the toll would be anywhere around 35 in the last five days, on a single day alone, police records revealed that fatal accidents had claimed over 20 lives which included Tirunelveli-Nagercoil stretch (11), Kodaikanal-Palani (5), Dindigul (4), Madurai Rural (2) and Tuticorin (2).

Apart from fatal cases, accidents with simple and multiple injuries were also reported in Madurai district, Virudhunagar and Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram on a single day, police said. Though many factors such as poor visibility of road intersections, lack of signboards cautioning drivers, thin police patrol teams and incomplete work on the National Highways of the four-lane stretch are attributed to the accidents, police officers felt that rash driving and over-speeding were major causes for the accidents.

Motorists said that National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) authorities had laid new roads but had not given equal importance to prevent drivers from using the wrong lane, as it resulted in head-on collision. Similarly, they also pointed to the absence of signboards and high-mast lamps at vantage intersections.

An officer in Ramanathapuram district said there was an increase in movement of vehicles as many people were travelling to different destinations in view of the summer holidays.