A black Friday of blood, tears and mangled metal
By Santhosh Christy | ENS | Published: 07th September 2013 09:39 AM |
The Melkulangara accident, which took the lives of 14 people on Friday, turned out to be a bolt from the blue for the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) and police authorities, as they have been taking additional care to prevent road accidents in the wake of the Tanur accident.
Eight members of a family had lost their lives when an autorickshaw collided with a bus at Tanur last week. In the latest accident, the authorities can point out more reasons, including compromise in fitness, worn-out tyres, overspeed and absence of emergency door. The people who had gathered at the accident spot were shocked to see the pathetic condition of the tyres of the bus. Only the right side front tyre and the right outer tyre in the rear of the bus were in condition.
“If the bus had good tyres, this accident would not have occurred. It is the responsibility of the bus owner to ensure that the tyres are in good condition. The government should change the law to file an attempt to murder case against the bus owner in such cases. There is no use punishing the drivers alone,” retired Motor Vehicles Inspector M V Narayananunni said. He also said that the MVD could not give attention to such issues because of the lack of sufficient staff. “There are only four technical officers under the Joint Regional Transport Office at Perinthalmanna. They have to do duties such as fitness inspection and granting of licence, apart from vehicle inspection. It is not possible at present to check the fitness of every vehicle with a minimum number of officials,” Narayananunni said.
The construction of the road also played a key role in the accident. The road was steep along with a slight curve in the area. It has big trees on both sides, which obstructed the view of the driver.
“The road here has not been constructed as per the directives of the Indian Road Congress. As per the directives, there should not be any static object on the roadside to obstruct the view of the driver. It has been violated here. The cooperation of the PWD is also needed to bring down the number of accidents in the state,” Narayananunni said.
“The government should take steps to increase the number of officials in the MVD to ensure proper inspection of vehicles,” he said.