Kerala

Concern over rising road accidents in Kottayam

120 deaths in 6 months of this year

Over the past one week, eight persons have been killed in road accidents reported from various parts of Kottayam.

Of them, at least six persons were killed in accidents reported on August 2 and 3, soon after the police and the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) launched an intensive crackdown on traffic rule violators.

Preliminary investigations by the police had attributed this ever-rising number of accidents primarily to rash and negligent driving though a host of other factors such as drunk driving and riding bikes without helmets also contribute to the high number of deaths.

As per official estimates, road accidents in the district had claimed over 120 lives in the first half of this year as against 279 lives in 2018. The number of persons killed in road accidents in 2017 stood at 264. The deaths aside, these accidents had also left as many as 6,179 persons injured over the last two years.

According to MVD officials, two-wheelers continue to lead in the number of road accidents in the district despite a number of preventive measures. Young riders with high-speed motorbikes are among the major offenders in cases of rash and negligent driving.

Lack of lane discipline

“Speeding coupled with absence of lane discipline and drunken driving had contributed to the majority of these accidents. These bikers regularly clock a speed not below 120 -130 km while the designed speed on roads in Kottayam, with its uneven terrain and crossings, is only half this,” said V.M. Chacko, Regional Transport Officer, Kottayam.

Meanwhile, a senior official with the traffic police wing maintained that congested roads and drivers’ indifference to traffic rules turn rural roads in the district into death traps. A rising tide of motorisation of rural areas, which have several byroads and where compliance of traffic rules is poor, should be also held responsible for these accidents, he pointed out.

Taking a serious note of the rising accidents, District Collector P.K.Sudheer Babu has directed the traffic authorities to identify the black spots (locations which have a history of major accidents) and initiate steps to prevent accidents.

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Printable version | May 20, 2020 7:09:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/concern-over-rising-road-accidents-in-kottayam/article28827341.ece

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