TRICHY: After a steep decline in April, road accident rate in the state has slowly started to increase since May 17, when lockdown norms were relaxed. Compared to the period between March 24 and May 17, road traffic accidents increased by almost double after May 17 in the city.
Lockdown due to Covid-19 left all the arterial roads and the bypasses deserted bringing down the number of accidents. Between March 25 and April 30, the city witnessed only 13 cases, which included a fatal accident. The number was nearly one-fourth of the cases registered during the corresponding period last year. But, the scene changed after May 17 when all types of vehicles occupied the roads once again as the government eased the lockdown norms. Vehicle movement increased further after June 1 as the government allowed vehicle movement within the districts in the zones. Going by the latest data,
city witnessed 19 accidents between March 25 and May 16, whereas 31 accidents including six fatal cases were recorded between May 17 and June 9. A police officer in
The officer said that even this figure is low for Madurai, which usually witnesses more than 15 accident deaths. Few others blame the government’s decision to restart alcohol sales. Trichy east co-ordinator of Makkal Needhi Maiam S R Kishore Kumar attributed the reopening of Tasmac shops to the rise in the number of road accidents. “Drunken driving is the main reason for the accidents,” he said. While speeding is also termed a reason for accidents, a section of motorists had weird reasons that they developed a habit of driving vehicles fast on empty roads during the lockdown. Even after the relaxations, they had the tendency of driving their vehicles fast leading to accidents. Social worker Paul Guna Loganath said that the motorists were least bothered about the road traffic rules.
“All they know is that they have an accelerator and brake in their vehicle. Riding the bike or driving the car in full throttle unmindful of the safety of others is the norm. They have no idea how to manage the crisis on the road,” he said. Commissioner of police, Trichy city, V Varadharaju said, “Accidents occur on highways and on city roads. It is highly tragic to lose a life on the roads. People should adhere to traffic rules,” he told ToI. However, he said there was 25% dip in accidents between January 1 and June 8, compared to last year. Fatal accidents also came down by 18%. (With inputs from Devanathan Veerappan)Source: Times of India