Speed limit violations on Kozhikode-Kannur NH pose a safety threat to passengers

Private bus operators accused of ignoring warning signs on accident-prone stretches even as complaints raised against them fall on deaf ears due to alleged negligence by enforcement squads

Published - May 16, 2024 12:30 am IST - Kozhikode

Reckless overtaking and lane traffic violations are rampant on the Kozhikode-Kannur national highway even during peak hours of traffic

Reckless overtaking and lane traffic violations are rampant on the Kozhikode-Kannur national highway even during peak hours of traffic | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Speed limit violations by private bus operators unmindful of deep excavations and filling works on the Kozhikode-Kannur national highway as part of the six-laning project have started drawing huge protests. Complaints raised by road workers against the violation have fallen on deaf years due to the alleged negligence on the part of road enforcement squads.

“Drivers on the route are totally heedless of other vehicles. As bus drivers flout the lane discipline and engage in an off-road race, smaller vehicles struggle to navigate through deep ditches and cuts,” said Vijayan Puthiyapurayil, a trader in Vengali. He added that pedestrians are struggling to move along the muddy road where buses test their speed.

Despite cautionary boards at accident-prone stretches along the highway, drivers on the route ignore the signs. According to local merchants, people who were unfamiliar with road diversions and muddy terrain are facing a huge threat from the reckless driving.

“Punching stations earlier operated by the Traffic police at Payyoli and Elathur are no longer operational. At present, there is no official system to prevent the road race. The unhealthy trend is dangerous to the safety of bus passengers,” said V. Biju, a retired Public Works department engineer.He added that road surveillance cameras were not functional due to road widening projects, giving a cover for erring drivers.

Meanwhile, police officers from Koyilandy, Payyoli and Vadakara stations claimed that there were sufficient number of home guards and officers to instantly track speed limit violations. Cases had already been registered against negligent drivers, they said.

Responding to the complaints, a functionary of the Private Bus Operators Association said the drivers alone should not be held accountable for the road race. “They are under extreme pressure to operate on time amidst challenges such as poor road and traffic congestions. The issues can be resolved only on completion of road widening works,” he added.

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