KOCHI: On average, two persons die in 16 road accidents in Ernakulam district daily, according to the state police data. In spite of this high number, residents of the district seem to be less bothered about own safety and of their loved ones. The Enforcement Wing of Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) concluded its 24-hour special drive in which 491 traffic offenders were caught in the entire district. The drive was carried out by eight squads starting from 8 am on Tuesday to 8 am on Wednesday. A total of ` 1,83,456 was collected in fines from the traffic offenders.
One of the major concerns is that 212 persons were caught not fastening seat belts and 148 bike riders not wearing helmets.“In Kochi city limits, motorists are aware of traffic laws and very few are found driving vehicles without wearing seat belts or helmets. However, the situation is different in the rural areas of the district. Even after spreading awareness about road safety, people prefer not to wear helmets and seat belts,” said Manoj K Kumar, Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer, Enforcement.
The drive was launched on the instruction of the state Transport Commissioner to spread awareness among co-passengers of cars and pillion riders on two-wheelers about the need to use seat belts and helmets “They were not fined. But, our squad members explained the importance of adhering to the safety rules,” he said.
Enforcing the usage of seat belts and helmets strictly will start from September. “When people from Kerala go abroad or to other states, they do not find any issue in fastening seat belts or wearing helmets. As fine amounts for traffic offences have been hiked, people will be forced to abide with the rules once enforcement activities kickstart from next month,” an MVD inspector said.