Accidents dip in Chennai due to lockdown

The city has also seen a drop in the number of drunken driving cases as Tasmac shops have been shut

Published - April 07, 2020 04:38 pm IST - CHENNAI

The police have intensified checking of vehicles during the lockdown

The police have intensified checking of vehicles during the lockdown

The lockdown seems to have had an impact on road traffic accidents too, apart from its original purpose of containing the spread of COVID-19.

The number of road accidents in the city has reduced substantially since March 24, when the curfew began. The city has also seen a drop in number of drunken driving cases as Tasmac shops have been shut down. However activists want the police to be prepared to handle the traffic once curfew is lifted.

According to statistics provided by the Chennai Traffic Police, there have been seven fatal accidents between March 24 and April 5 and seven people died in these accidents. A total of 36 non-fatal accidents were reported during the same period and 43 persons were injured.

However, between March 15 and March 24, there were 26 fatal accidents in which 27 persons died. Besides, there were 124 non-fatal accidents that were registered and 147 persons were injured. Police said that there were only one or two accidents per day now. Earlier, on an average, 25 major and minor accidents per day used to be reported, the police claim.

“Since the lockdown period began, vehicle movement has been restricted. We also have check posts in 146 places across the city. Hence the accidents have reduced considerably. But a few continue to take place,” said A. Arun, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic.

Besides, since all Tasmac shops and bars have been shutdown, drunken driving cases have also come down. “We used to conduct drunken driving checks on weekends and used to register close to 100 cases. Now there are fewer cases being reported, despite us continuing the checks,” said a police officer.

During the initial days of the lockdown, there were a few incidents of youngsters indulging in rash driving. “However we intensified checking across the city and started seizing vehicles of those who are roaming around unnecessarily. Slowly such incidents also reduced,” added the officer.

Activists said there will be major congestion on city roads once the lockdown is lifted. They want police to be prepared for a sudden increase in number of vehicles on the road. Besides, they want the police to increase vigil on roads using CCTV to check rash driving.

M. Radhakrishnan of Thozhan Foundation said: “There should ideally be no accidents during the lockdown. Despite the restrictions, people are riding around the city citing frivolous reasons and many are riding on the wrong side of the roads.”

Advocate V. Suresh said, “If a vehicle meets with an accident during the lockdown period and gets damaged, the insurance companies will not compensate for loss. It will be very difficult to get it from them.”

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