Road accidents on the decline, says city police chief
CHENNAI: Two-wheeler riders should wear helmets to ensure safe riding on the roads, the Commissioner of Police Letika Saran said here on Monday.
At a function organised to give away awards and prizes to the winners in the oratorical competitions on "Road Safety" organised under the auspices of St. John Ambulance, she said though the police had been conducting campaigns on road safety, and it would be ideal if every rider started wearing helmets while riding two-wheelers.
In a metropolis like Chennai, the vehicle population stood at around 30 lakh, a third of the city's population, almost guaranteeing traffic jams.
The need of the hour is better planning by every road user. To reach destinations on time, it would be wiser to leave home earlier, she suggested.
Sustained campaigns and strict enforcement had brought down the incidence of speaking over mobile phones while driving. Intensified drive and recommendation to cancel driving licence when a driver was found to have consumed liquor has deterred motorists from mixing drinking and driving, Ms. Saran said.
She invited the public to give their suggestions on road safety aspects. Any idea, which was feasible, would be certainly taken up, she said.
Citing statistics, the Commissioner pointed out that over the past one year, fatal accidents had dropped from 1159 cases in 2005 to 1112 cases in 2006. Similarly, the total number of non-fatal accidents too had fallen from 7,959 to 7,400.
Police had been conducting sensitisation programmes for pedestrians with the support of college students. The focus was on the East Coast Road and the fatal rate had fallen substantially, Ms. Saran noted.
In his welcome address St. John Ambulance state secretary C.S. Veeraraghavan said that in many places, zebra crossings were hardly visible on roads. Proper marking would help pedestrians to cross the road safely.
The St. John Ambulance vice-chairman N. Sugalchand Jain said as walkers along the Marina had increased, it would be welcome if the police prevented vehicle movement between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the service road on Kamarajar Salai.
Manisha Mathews of The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University School of Excellence in Law and N. Ashwin Kumar of S.B.O.A Matriculation Higher Secondary School received the first prizes in the respective categories in the oratorical competitions. Consolation prizes were also distributed.
St. John Ambulance treasurer V. Jayaraman proposed a vote of thanks.