The Road Safety Week celebrations had just kicked off at Palayamkottai when a student of standard XI, riding a two-wheeler, was killed in an accident at KTC Nagar on the outskirts of the city. The motor cycle hit a lorry parked on the Palayamkottai–Tuticorin four-lane National Highway and the boy, the son of a village panchayat president, died on the spot.
The victim was 16 years old. The rules say anyone below the age of 18 years cannot be granted a driver’s licence for vehicles with a capacity of 50 cc and above. But, no two-wheeler is available in the market with a lower capacity. Most of them come with a capacity of 100 cc and above. Rash driving even on busy thoroughfares is common leading to fatal accidents.
This trend can be checked if the police and the Regional Transport Office officials launch a drive against erring bike riders, especially school students, who drive their vehicles at high speed to reach either schools or their tuition centres in time. Unfortunately, no credible and sustained action has been taken so far by the enforcement authorities even though Palayamkottai and Tirunelveli have witnessed a number of fatal accidents involving school students.
What is more disturbing is the attitude of parents, who present bikes to their children even though they know that it is illegal. “The police and the transport officials should launch an intensive drive against those driving bikes without a valid licence. Such an operation alone will prevent students from riding bikes and save their lives,” says D.A. Prabhakar, an advocate and consumer activist.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Palayamkottai, S. Rajamannar admits that students ride bikes without driving licence and at high speed. “Though we warn the students and their parents, the problem continues,” he says.
Police and Regional Transport Office officials should launch a drive,
says P. Sudhakar