Better traffic management and intensive awareness campaigns carried out by the Villupuram district police have started yielding positive results this year.
The district’s road network at over 900 km, including about 375 km of national highways, has witnessed a dip in fatal accidents compared with the previous years thanks to the corrective measures adopted by the police.
According to statistics available with the Villupuram police, the number of fatal accidents decreased from 915 in 2016 to 834 in 2017 and to 228 till May 2018. The number of non-fatal accidents declined from 3,074 in 2016 to 2,944 in 2017 and to 1,212 till May this year.
Police attributed the decrease in fatal accidents to the pro-active measures and intensive awareness campaigns along with strict traffic enforcement on accident-prone stretches of national highways. The police identified 56 ‘black spots’ across the district, with 17 dubbed as the most accident-prone stretches.
The police put together a database of accidents in the district over the last three years, including information on accident-prone stretches, the nature of accidents and the time they occurred.
The most accident-prone stretches were identified at Salavadi, Mundiyambakkam, East Coast Road, Chinna Salem (Indili), Ulundurpet bypass, Asanur and Gedilam.
“We erected barricades with reflective stickers at 67 places across the district so that vehicles will slow down. As many as 100 solar blinkers were installed at accident-prone zones and intersection points with poor lighting facilities. Photos of accident-prone zones were put up at 60 places, including at Salavadi bridge, Kooteripattu, Mundiyambakkam, Gingee bypass, Arasur, Pali and Asanur,” said Superintendent of Police S. Jeyakumar.
The police have also pitched for road engineering measures on some of the stretches and sought government approval. A professor from IIT-Madras, surveyed the stretches and suggested some remedial measures.
Mr. Jeyakumar pointed out that over 60% of the fatalities involved two-wheeler riders who were drunk, riding triples and overspeeding. The police adopted a zero tolerance approach to traffic violations. As many as 2,42,609 persons were booked for violation of motor vehicle rules last year while 59,920 persons were booked this year.
Driving licences of 8,075 persons were revoked last year for various reasons such as drunk driving, overspeeding and riding triples. Licenses of about 2,486 persons were revoked till May this year.
The police also set up public address system at important junctions on national highways. The system relayed messages on the need to wear seat belts and to slow down vehicles at intersections.
Over 7,000 awareness programmes and human chains on road safety were held on accident-prone stretches. All these measures contributed to making the roads safer, he said.