Speed thrill leading to gory accidents a major concern
With cases of late night accidents involving high speed cars and bikes rising in the city, a serious challenge has cropped up before the traffic police of the city. With all sorts of precautions ranging from speed breakers to barricades, takenby the cops to ensure lesser number of accidents, there seems to be no stop in the ever-rising graph of late night road accidents. A formidable question thus crops up — Who is to be blamed?
According to a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named: "The efforts to bring down road accidents at night have failed to bring desirable results as some drivers who drive premium vehiclesat night have developed a tendency to flout traffic rules. By increasing the number of policemen, one cannot bring down such road accidents. What is required is more and more awareness."
The officer who had been to Europe to study traffic management said: "There is a wrong concept in India that by increasing policemen at night, car accidents can be stopped. Car owners driving their cars should know that as they are handling powerful engines, thus they should improve their skills from time to time."
Recently, Ronodeep Bose, an actor from Tollywood, who is currently undergoing treatment at a private nursing home had hit a road divider with his two-wheeler around 1.30 am in South Kolkata. It was found that he was not wearing a helmet.
In January, around 2 am, a premium Mercedes 500SL car had hit a person who was pushing his two-wheeler that had developed a mechanical snag on Hazra Road. The person died on the spot. In December, 2016, in an early morning accident, two youth who were riding a motorcycle without helmets died after the two-wheeler skid off the road and hit the railings.
Senior police officers said, to check road accidents at night, security barricades are put up at important road intersections like AJC Bose Road, Sarat Bose Road, APC Road, Eastern Metropolitan bypass etc. Instead of speed breakers, speed controllers have been installed. The number of night traffic patrols too have been increased and kiosks have been set up all across the city. Under Safe Drive Save Life programme, a slew of measures too have been taken.
To stop racing of late night motorcycles on Vidyasagar Setu and other flyovers, tight vigil has been ensured and there is a ban on two-wheelers on Ma Flyover post 10 pm.
The senior officer maintained that most of the owners driving cars fitted with engines whose capacities vary anything between 1800cc and 3500cc do not know how to handle these vehicles. "They upgrade the car models without improving their driving skills. In other countries, a driver whether professional or non-professional, has to appear for tests every five years. Unless this system is introduced in India, car accidents involving costly cars cannot be curbed."
He said many car manufacturers have opened driving schools where both professional and non-professional drivers can improve their driving skills by following the right method of driving. But few car
owners when they drive show no interest in attending such schools. "We always blame the truck and bus drivers for flouting norms but 95 percent of owners drive flouting
traffic norms, jump traffic signals at night."