The speed limit imposed by the police inside Puducherry town and sub-urban areas has gone for a toss with two-wheelers and cars flouting the rules, thanks to lax enforcement. The Puducherry police imposed maximum speed restrictions of 20 to 50 kmph for all classes of vehicles in the city and peripheries to curb over-speeding.
The maximum speed for vehicles within the town area falling within the Boulevard comprising the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Road, Subbiah Salai, Beach Road, and Anna Salai on the north, south, east, and west was fixed at 30 kmph.
The speed limit on the Cuddalore road from Venkatasubba Reddiar Square to Ariyankuppam bridge was 30 kmph, while maximum speed for vehicles on the stretch from Ariyankuppam bridge to Mullodai border was 50 kmph.
The maximum speed near educational institutions, residential areas, industrial areas, market places, and hospitals on the stretch was fixed at 30 kmph. Speed limit for vehicles plying on NH 33 from Beach Road to Ariyapalayam bridge, Villianur was fixed at 30 kmph. Rules were being violated with impunity, but there has been little action to check the issue.
According to a traffic management expert, “Overspeeding has become a major concern in the city and accounts for a major share of fatal accidents. It is one of the major traffic offences that attract suspension of license for a minimum period of three months. There is a need for ensuring that drivers follow speed limit strictly.”
Residents have also been complaining of speeding on the ECR, 100-feet Road and Villupuram road and sought corrective steps.
According to J. Khadar, a resident of Muthialpet, “A number of fatal accidents involving high-end bikes have been reported on the ECR. The road has become a major transit route for office-goers and schoolchildren. The police should step up surveillance at least on major junctions like Rajiv Gandhi Square and Villupuram Road. The presence of traffic policemen may rein in speeding vehicles.”
According to a police officer, “Enforcement drives are conducted frequently to check traffic violations. An advanced laser-based speed gun was also procured by the traffic police to monitor speeding. However, the gun had developed a technical snag and is no longer in use. The department is already plagued with problems of shortage of manpower and is short of funds to procure new devices. The city’s roads are very narrow and there is little proof that the device will help in controlling overspeeding.”
He added, “Poor road engineering was the major cause of rise in road accidents in the city especially on the Villupuram Road and Cuddalore Road and the stretch from Sivaji statue to Rajiv Gandhi Square on the East Coast Road. Not even a single road in the city has clear demarcation of pedestrian pathways. Patrolling will be stepped up to penalise drivers who flout the speed limits.”