Kochi: The traffic authorities have started cracking down on offenders in view of the alarming rise in road accidents, especially at night.
The police and the Motor Vehicles Department have taken action against offences like refusal to dim light, speeding, lane traffic violation and driving without seat belts, among others, following the instructions from Just-ice K.S. Radhakrishnan panel on road safety. The issue had come up during the half-yearly meeting convened by the panel.
“We carried out full day-and- night checking the other day. The transport commissioner has directed to make such inspections a regular affair,” said Rajeev Puthalat, Joint Transport Commissioner (Enforce-ment), MVD.
According to a study conducted by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), there was a seven per cent rise in the number of accidents in the first five months of this year compared to last year.
While there were 18,179 accidents till May this year, the mishaps during the corresponding period in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 were 17,454, 16,409, 17,001, 16,825 and 15,350 respectively. A total of 2,084 people died in accidents this year.
Fatalities in the last five years (same period) were 1,961, 1,772, 1,974, 1,876 and 1,830 respectively.
“The accidents during nights are rising alarmingly. While the trend remained more or less static till 2017, it began to show a rise from 2018 onwards. In the first five months of this year, there were a total of 5,550 accidents during nights,” said a senior NATPAC official.
The night mishaps during the corresponding period in 2018 were 5,347 while that in 2,017, 2,016, 2,015 and 2,014 were 4,512, 4,437, 4,091 and 4,019 respectively.
“The study over the last five years shows the mishaps are the highest during January and December. The annual mishap figure is nearly 40, 000 while fatalities touch the 4,200-4,300 mark. This year we’re expecting a rise,” the official said.
The main causes of mishaps are related to drivers and roads. “The NATPAC has identified a total of 356 black spots across the country and measures are being taken to reduce mishaps at these spots,” he added....