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Nine deaths in six months, but rash driving continues on SA Road

Over the past six months, more than 15 motorists have suffered severe injuries and nine persons died in accidents at the Elamkulam junction on the Sahodaran Ayyappan (SA) Road.

Published: 09th April 2021 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2021 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

Police officers checking vehicles as part of their drive to reduce accident rate along the SA Road | Arun Angela

Express News Service

KOCHI: Over the past six months, more than 15 motorists have suffered severe injuries and nine persons died in accidents at the Elamkulam junction on the Sahodaran Ayyappan (SA) Road. It is evident that an unscientific construction of the road, encroachments, reckless driving and a lack of proper signage have resulted in a large number of accidents. 

Though the police and the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) erected barricades along the stretch after the last accident, motorists continue to test their driving skills there at night. According to the police, even the high number of accidents, and the resultant deaths, have not served to change driving behaviour. “Motorists in the age-group of 20-28 are causing a lot of headaches. Since most of them are using superbikes, they want to test their driving skills on the stretch. It was only because of the barricade and strict night enforcement by the police and MVD that some youngsters reduced the speed. Otherwise, we might have witnessed several accidents and deaths,” said a police officer who is part of the enforcement team.  

Meanwhile, as many as 95 motorcycle riders were booked during a surprise drive conducted by Enforcement RTO Shaji Madhavan last week.“Most of them were booked for rash driving on the stretch. It is so surprising that youngsters are not at all worried about the recent deaths arising out of rash driving.

If the police and MVD stay away from the road, the stretch will turn into a death trap. Motorists should be alert and reduce speed,” Shaji said. 

As per an MVD study, only a widening of the stretch between Kochi Metro pillars 819 and 826 can put the brakes on fatal accidents. A NATPAC too had suggested a redesign of the Elamkulam junction.“Soon, speed detection cameras will be installed along the stretch. We are awaiting the Traffic Advisory Committee’s nod to install cameras. We will get the approval after the withdrawal of the election code of conduct,” Shaji added. 



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