VISAKHAPATNAM: Notwithstanding the awareness campaigns and counselling sessions by the police and the transport departments, rash and negligent driving continues unabated in the city. Despite death of 321 people in road accidents in the city during 2014, commuters continue to disregard the traffic norms and the death of 11 persons at Marikavalasa is a glaring example of this.
Disregard of traffic rules, jumping signals, rash and negligent driving continue to take a heavy toll in the city. In the latest incident at Marikavalasa, the traffic department is also at fault for not keeping vigil either personally or through CCTV cameras. Of course, negligence by the SUV driver coming in the wrong direction was said to be the main reason for such ghastly incident. Similar reason led to another incident near Sabbavarm a few days back with the lorry coming in the wrong direction. It killed two persons, including a 12-year old girl.
The city police department is concerned over incidents of rash driving, jumping dividers, motorists crossing medians, youngsters violating traffic norms and jumping signals. With all these incidents taking place on the National Highway, police feel that there is imminent threat to motorists. Police said that jumping medians and crossing the roads might be minor things but if the motorists go at high speed and apply a sudden brake the bike could skid and in case of car, it may meet with a big accident. Many accidents on the NH go unrecorded.
G Manish, an employee from a software firm and resident of Marripalem, said: “At Urvasi junction, we generally see not only commuters but also motorists jumping off medians. My bike skidded on a wet day while I was returning from office and was left with injuries.” Kinnera/Kameswari junction is another area where such incidents take place, besides stretch from Gurudwara to Satyam, Marripalem and a few areas of the NH.
According to the Vizag traffic police, rash driving deaths are maximum in the city. The cases also include signal jumping, over-speed, drunk driving and vehicles in bad condition. Police also didn’t rule out the role of over-speeding and overloaded auto-rickshaws in the accidents. Though the police had already started the re-engineering works by closing the medians and allowing the vehicles to take turn at major junctions and implementing some traffic changes, they were all limited to a few areas. Installation of CCTV cameras is also said to be in the pipeline for a long time.
Commenting, Traffic ADCP K Mahendra Patrudu said that major part of negligence lied with the drivers. The accident might not have occurred if he/she was responsible. “Even though we create awareness about the need to use helmets many times, people give excuses like hot weather and hair damage,” the ADCP said, adding that in many cases, “wearing helmet could have saved a life.”
The ADCP expressed concerned at people jumping medians. Many people cross the medians without taking care to keep a check on the vehicles, he added.