THRISSUR: In the wake of the death of four persons on Tuesday in a road accident at Kuthiran near here, experts from National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) visited the accident spot on Friday and have asked for urgent widening of the curves in the three-kilometre-stretch on the mountainous terrain starting from Vazhukkappara till Irumbupalam.
The car in which the deceased were travelling was hit by a lorry from behind. The team of experts consisting of consultant T V Satheesh, Santosh Kadavil and Ebin Sam raised concerns over a 21-year-old Kanakaraj, driving a heavy vehicle from Bangalore to Kochi with no reserve driver. The other person in the lorry that rammed into the car was an 18-year-old helper. The licence and badge of the driver were found to be valid.
Kanakaraj told NATPAC officials that he got licence at an age of 18 and the Maruti 800 car which was crushed by his truck first overtook his vehicle and was travelling behind another truck when the accident happened.
A case has been registered against the driver invoking 304(A) for causing death by negligence and Kerala Police would be asking the Road Transport Officer concerned in TN to cancel his licence, police said.
NATPAC engineer Ebin Sam told ‘Express’ that in the accident prone zone there were several narrow curves in which a heavy vehicle cannot move on by entering the opposite track. So road widening works in these areas need to be completed urgently.
“At least one-and-a-half metres of pavements are necessary on both sides of road to avoid accidents. The other issue is branches of several trees jutting out affecting the visibility of the road. This issue needs to be looked into,” he said.
Besides signboards and warning boards indicating ‘no overtaking’ and speed limits need to be immediately set in place.
The local people had pointed out that most of the signboards in the treacherous stretch had been damaged and the National Highways Authority on India (NHAI) did not take any steps to reinstate them.
The NATPAC has also demanded to set up streetlights in Kuthiran.
The preliminary report of NATPAC will be submitted to the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) within a week and the authority would instruct departments concerned to take corrective measures to avoid accidents.