The Department of Transport has identified 41 ‘Black Spots’ along highways in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts where fatal accidents have happened on multiple occasions, Transport Commissioner Tenkasi S. Jawahar said here on Wednesday.
He was speaking to reporters after holding a review meeting with Collectors and top police officials of the four districts.
Mr. Jawahar asserted that the department was making efforts to minimise the number of fatalities in road accidents by stringently enforcing road safety regulations besides creating awareness among road-users.
Tamil Nadu witnessed the death of 17,218 persons in road accidents in 2016. However, this number was brought down to 10,525 in 2019 through stringent enforcement of law, awareness campaigns and other allied precautionary measures.
In order to cut down the fatal accidents by 50% from last year’s number, the State government was organising review meetings to appraise measures being taken in every district by enforcement agencies.
Reeling out statistics, Mr. Jawahar said the State had 1.90 lakh km-long highways that was used by 2.90 crore vehicles including 2.40 crore two-wheelers.
“The government hopes to achieve its objective by stringently enforcing road safety rules such as action against bikers without licence and helmetless and drunken driving,” the senior official said.
The ‘Black Spots’, which were inspected jointly by officials of police, public health, transport and highways departments following every fatal accident, should be reduced drastically through precautionary measures and ensured that they did not get shifted to other places.
A team, after inspecting a ‘Black Spot’, would submit its findings to the district administration about the accident and recommend measures for total prevention of similar incidents on the spot.
Accident victims were rushed to hospital within the ‘Golden Hour’ by summoning ambulance to the spot within 14 minutes.
Further, installation of speed governors in vehicles had been made mandatory.
Mr. Jawahar said 3,35,152 driving licences in 2018 and 1,19,978 driving licences in 2019 were cancelled temporarily for violation of road safety rules.
“We have planned to deploy automatic number plate recognition system (ANRS) along highways, including the four-lane national highways, so that rash driving, the prime reason behind mishaps, can be checked effectively,” he noted.
When it was pointed out that the condition of the four-lane national highway between Kanniyakumari and Madurai was in worst shape though hefty toll was being collected at four places, Nanguneri, Kayathar, Sattur and Kappalur, Mr. Jawahar said the Department of Transport would write to National Highways Authority of India asking it to maintain the road properly.
However, he did not mention any steps taken by his department to improve the motorability of the highway used by thousands of vehicles everyday.
Collectors Shilpa Prabhakar Satish (Tirunelveli), G.K. Arun Sundar Thayalan (Tenkasi), Sandeep Nanduri (Thoothukudi) and Prashant M. Wadnere (Kanniyakumari) participated.
Inspector General of Police (Traffic and Road Safety) Pramodh Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Tirunelveli City, Deepak M. Damor, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Tiruneveli Range, Praveen Kumar Abinapu attended the review meet.
Other who were present were Superintendents of Police Om Prakash Meena (Tirunelveli) Suguna Singh (Tenkasi) Arun Balagopalan (Thoothukudi) and N. Shreenath (Kanniyakumari) and Deputy Commissioners of Police (Law and Order), Tirunelveli City, S. Saravanan and Maghesh Kumar (Crime and Traffic).
Senior officials from the Department of Transport also participated in the meeting.