Beware, city folks! Street racing, which had been a perennial source of headache for the city police, is back in action in Thiruvananthapuram after a short break. The reckless endangerment by youth gangs has once again started to put the lives of ordinary drivers and pedestrians at risk.
The latest incident was on Sunday night when one of the two racing cars lost control on the Kowdiar-Vellayambalam stretch and flipped into oncoming traffic and ended up on the sidewalk before ramming to an avenue tree.
Of the four youths admitted to the hospital, the condition of two is said to be critical. The illegal activity, an extreme adrenaline rush, has created panic among the motorists and pedestrians.
The victims, identified as Ashiq, 19, who drove the car, Jose, 19, Bharat, 19, and another person, were in an inebriated state, the police said.
Two bike riders and a pedestrian saved their lives by a whisker as they avoided being hit by the car. The police are on the lookout for a BMW car which raced along with the car which met with the accident.
Rajesh P, a temple priest who witnessed Sunday’s incident, said that the deafening sound and the speeding vehicles created a scary atmosphere on the road. Rajesh, who was riding a bike, had a close shave as he managed to drive away from the car which lost control.
The stretches of Kowdiar-Vellayambalam, Vellayambalam - Sasthamangalam and All Saints’- Airport have been witnessing car and bike races for the past one week or so.
The city residents allege that the Traffic Police were turning a blind eye to the plight of ordinary citizens. ‘’The Traffic Police are ignoring this crime. They are keen on fining those who don’t wear helmets. It is sad that races go unnoticed in their surveillance cameras,’’ said Salim, a Secretariat employee.
‘’The police jump into action only when a big mishap occurs. I have several times seen couples travelling on bikes losing control over their vehicles when the racing vehicles rocket down along the busy stretches,’’ said Sreejith, working at Technopark.
Attempt to Murder
The Museum police on Monday registered a case under Section 307 IPC for attempt to murder against Ashiq, 19, who drove the car that met with the accident. Sub-inspector J Pradeep said that the statement of the victims could not be recorded as all the four were in a serious condition.
‘’Efforts are on to trace the BMW car alleged to have been involved in the incident. We are examining the surveillance camera visuals from Kowdiar and Vellayambalam Junctions,’’ he said.
Illegal racing continues to claim lives on the streets of the capital city. Write to us your opinions and suggestions for making our roads safer.