Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 25 May 2024 10.38 PM IST

Fatal road accidents rise even after touted traffic reforms


Even after introducing many touted projects for road safety, the authorities have failed miserably in curtailing accidents on roads. Most accidents are the result of excessive speed, carelessness or poor road conditions.

Most of the victims of road accidents are two-wheeler riders. However, last day in Thiruvananthapuram, a student travelling on a scooter died tragically after a stone weighing 50 kg from a Taurus lorry fell on his chest, severally damaging his internal organs. Ananthu, son of Ajikumar and Bindu, died in the accident on Vizhinjam Mukkola-Balaramapuram road.

It is said that the lorry ferrying the stones was speeding on an uneven road, thus killing a youngster who was on his way to college. The bereaved family will have to bear a lifetime of grief for the reckless driving of the lorry driver.

Tipper lorries and other such heavy vehicles have made it a routine to kill commuters and two-wheelers on the road with their brazen violation of traffic rules. The disregard for smaller vehicles from lorry drivers is palpable and has wreaked havoc on the road many times. Due to the ongoing national highway projects in Kerala, tipper lorries are seen speeding across the roads often. However, the total disregard for traffic rules and the gratuitous speeding on roads from these vehicles are instilling a sense of fear in commuters and two-wheelers alike.

Such vehicles carrying stone, sand and other construction materials have time restrictions, speed restrictions, and safety standards to be followed while transporting. The Taurus lorry that caused an accident in Vizhinjam was carrying gravel for construction work in the port area. Loading more than the permissible load, excessive speed and carelessness of the driver caused the tragedy in the Vizhinjam accident.

It is mandatory for lorries carrying gravel to cover everything with a green net to prevent dust and small pieces of gravel from flying in the wind and causing trouble to passers-by and two-wheelers. These days, the green net is used as a veneer to hide the overloaded materials. The level of the load should be adjusted so that the stone does not fall while the lorry is running fast. Most contractors with an eye for profit will give a yes nod to overloading trips rather than spending all fuel on return trips to carry the gravel to the site. Pedestrians and two-wheelers, however careful they may be, are doomed to become victims of such unforeseen circumstances.

While it is not possible to exclude tippers and bulldozers from construction works that are part of development activities, it is necessary to ensure that they strictly adhere to the requirements imposed on the weight they can carry and the speed at which the load can be travelled on public roads.

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