Bike riders make roads unsafe in southern districts during vacation

Published - May 15, 2024 09:07 pm IST - TIRUNELVELI

Riding triples on a bike and that too without a helmet  has become a common sight in the southern districts.

Riding triples on a bike and that too without a helmet has become a common sight in the southern districts. | Photo Credit: SHAIKMOHIDEEN A

The absence of stringent action against bike riders violating road safety rules has resulted in two more deaths in Tenkasi district in which two under-aged teens riding a bike have been killed in a road accident near Sankarankovil on Tuesday while the duo’s 15-year-old friend has been admitted to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital with serious head injury.

 Even though the road safety rules clearly prohibit three people riding on a bike and riding two-wheelers at lightning speed without helmet, these violators can be seen terrorizing the road-users along almost all busy roads at any given time. The prime reason behind this life-threatening offence is the lack of stringent action against the violators, mostly under-aged children.

  When similar problems surfaced in Kanniyakumari district and the young violators caused accidents, including fatal mishaps, the police cracked whip against them a few months ago. Even the violators’ parents were fined. However, this action vanished in thin air very soon as the ‘minor violators’ have returned to the roads to terrorize every road-user with their reckless driving at high speed.

 The situation in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Thoothukudi districts are still worse as no action is taken against these youth roaming around on bikes without registration number plates or hiding the number plates under the rear mudguard.

 “Three people riding on a bike is an offence for which the bike can be seized while their parents fined. However, the lack of action against the erring juveniles and their parents encourage them to do heroics on the road to pose serious threat to other road-users. Unfortunately, two students, aged 15 and 18 from Panaivadalichathram have been killed in a road accident near Sankarankovil. As these teens are enjoying their summer holidays, the road safety violation on the roads has increased manifold,” says S. Balamurugan, a retired government employee from Palayamkottai.

 Since the students of a college on Palayamkottai – Thoothukudi Highway show scant respect for road safety rules by riding three on a bike without helmet at lightning speed everyday, the Tirunelveli city police were flooded with complaints from the public. When a few bikes, all carrying 3 students without helmets, were stopped by the police near the District Court Complex a couple of weeks ago, they threatened the policeman that any action against the students of that college would have “very serious repercussions” in the city.

 “The city will lose its normalcy at least for a week if you touch our students,” they warned and fled. The policeman could not identify them as there were no registration number plates in all these bikes.

 “If our senior officers give us free hand and back us, this menace will be wiped-out in just one day,” said a Sub-Inspector of Police serving in Tirunelveli East division of the city police.

 In Thoothukudi district, the situation is still worse as more than 80% of the bike riders do not wear helmet while the Tamil Nadu Government has categorized it as an offence. Three youth riding two-wheelers is very common in the district, especially in Thoothukudi Town, where the youth can be seen jumping traffic signals at will, driving bikes rashly without helmet, three riding on a bike without number plates etc.

 “We are organizing road safety week every year… Awareness programmes are organized as Tamil Nadu tops in road accidents. The road accidents can be stopped completely only when the enforcement of law is visible on the roads. Bikes of minors should be seized and their parents booked. Police personnel deployed on the road should be allowed to book the violators without giving them any privileged treatment. If the senior police officers are determined to enforce the law impartially, fatal accidents, particularly involving teens, can be avoided,” says a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police.

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