Dance of death in Kochi

440 killed in 5,976 road accidents in Ernakulam in 2018

The dance of death continues unabated on the roads in Kochi.

According to official records, Ernakulam registered the highest of 5,976 road accidents among the 14 districts in 2018. Nearly 440 were killed in the district in various road accidents last year.

A host of reasons ranging from reckless driving, overtaking, zigzagging through the highway and lack of street lights and medians, to name a few, contribute to the spike in road accidents in the commercial capital of Kerala.

“Speeding by drivers of private buses and two-wheelers remains a major issue in Kochi. They refuse to take their legs off the accelerator, especially in clear roads, leading to accidents,” said J. Himendranath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order & Traffic), Kochi.

Not out of control

Stating that the situation has not gone out of control, Mr. Himendranath pointed out that the city had many black spots, where accidents occur regularly.

“We have now strengthened the three ‘E’s, that include enforcement, engineering and education. The crackdown on errant school buses and improved checking on the condition of vehicles by police personnel and officials of the Motor Vehicles Department form part of the drive,” he said.

A recent survey conducted by the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) has found 19 black spots in the district, which include seven major roads.

Some of the highly accident prone black spots in Kochi are Vyttila-Kannadikadavu, Edappally, Kalamassery, Kariyadu, Karukutty, Karayamparabu, Varappuzha, Infopark, Puthenkurissu, Thrikkalathur and Kalady.

Seaport-Airport Road, Container Road, Vypeen-Munambam Road, NH 17 Varappuzha-Moothakunnam Road, Muvattupuzha- Perumbavoor Road, Tripunithura- Muvattupuzha Road and Muvattupuzha - Kothamangalam Road too find place on the list of highly dangerous roads, according to estimates by the Motor Vehicles Department.

“Overtaking through the left and use of mobiles while driving have also been found on the city roads. We are now working on a safe zone project, where teams comprising Motor Vehicle Inspectors and Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors will step up vigilance, especially on accident-prone stretches. We will be acting tough against the violators,” said Joji P Jose, Regional Transport Officer, Ernakulam.

Reminding that adequate street lights and medians remain mandatory elements in ensuring road safety, B. Shefiq, Joint Regional Transport Officer, Perumbavoor, cited the example of the accident-prone Muvattupuzha-Kalady Road that lacked both these requirements.

Trauma care system

Suggesting that Kochi required a scale-up in its trauma care system in the public sector, Junaid Rahman M. I, president of the Kochi chapter of the Indian Medical Association, said the private sector had adequate facility, but the common man was often finding it difficult to meet the cost of treatment.

“The General Hospital, Ernakulam, is likely to have improved trauma care facilities within two months. But still we lack a high-quality poly-trauma facility in the government sector here,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 6:17:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/dance-of-death-in-kochi/article26485836.ece

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