CHENNAI: Fewer vehicles on the roads mean fewer accidents, Since March 27, three days after the nationwide lockdown kicked in, there has been no road accident fatality in Chennai.
The city, with more than 53 lakh vehicles including around 43 lakh two-wheelers, usually records at least 5 or 6 road accident deaths a day. Last year, the 1,900-odd such deaths in Chennai were the highest among cities in the country.
Over the past fortnight or so, the lockdown triggered by Covid-19 has ensured a drastic drop in the number of road accidents.
Traffic police data shows there were only 129 accidents from March 17 to 26, killing 27 motorists. The last accident in the city occurred on the night of March 26 when Bhuvaneshwar, a 26-year-old from Ennore, smashed his bike into the median near the RBI subway and died on the spot.
The traffic police stepped up vigil and more cases were booked for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC. Until April 7, more than 30,000 people were booked for driving on road for nonessential work. Around 12,000 vehicles were seized.
On the flip side, despite restrictions in place, there were traffic violations galore and police booked 16,200 violators. Almost 55% of them were not wearing helmets.
“The lockdown doesn’t mean motorists can violate traffic rules. They can explain about the emergency, that has brought them on the roads to personnel in the law and order wing, but traffic personnel will continue with their crackdown,” said a senior police officer.
“Though it is lockdown period we continue to monitor the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software to check vehicles on the road. We are identifying the violators and booking cases,” said a senior police officer. Many tend to go at high speed on near deserted roads and the traffic police will not let their guard down, he added.
Transport activist S Rengachari said that people wrongly assume that short trips to a nearby shop doesn’t warrant wearing a helmet and take interior roads to avoid police checks. But figures suggest police have done a commendable job, he added.Source: TOI