Road race, lane traffic violations turn city road into danger zone

Poor arrangements to regulate vehicles, reckless driving compound problem

The Kozhikode-Elathur stretch of the National Highway-66 is turning out to be the most dangerous stretch in the city limits with poor measures in place to check rash driving and violation of the lane traffic discipline.

Despite the 24×7 monitoring by patrol squads from the Nadakkavu and Elathur police stations, there is no let-up in the number of daily accidents, mostly involving private buses and motorbikes.

Though the Pavangad-Elathur stretch of this risky route is claimed to be the first “safe zone” identified by the Kerala Road Safety Authority in the district with a lot of accident prevention projects, the measures to intercept rash drivers are still not effective. Illegal parking on either side of this widened road, obstructing the visibility at many locations, creates a number of new black spots.

“There are a number of colleges and schools on either side of the Kozhikode-Elathur stretch which really doubles the risk. Private buses and other rash drivers are hardly bothered of the safety hazards in their road race,” says P.N. Mohanan, an office-bearer of the Parents Teachers Association from Elathur. He said that the illegal entry of large trailer trucks and other unpermitted categories of heavy vehicles during the day also contributed to making the road hazardous.

Poor arrangements to regulate traffic in some of the risky junctions also add to the woes of passengers and pedestrians.

Leaders of various residents’ forums said that the police or the road safety officials were yet to fortify the road safety measures at the riskiest junctions such as Nadakkavu, West-Hill Chungam, Puthiyangadi, and Pavangad. Survival of the fittest seemed to be the rule of the road here where pedestrians were always overlooked by speeding vehicles, they complained.

Many of such risky junctions now have faded zebra lines, prompting the pedestrians to walk helter-skelter. The full time presence of Home Guards is claimed to be the most practical option in some locations which are located closer to educational institutions. However, the Home Guards said that they were helpless to act instantly against road rule violators.

Police officials from Elathur and Nadakkavu stations said the violation of lane traffic discipline or reckless overtaking could not be controlled through only enforcement or camera surveillance. According to them, the safest roads emerge as the riskiest ones only because of the reckless driving habits of a few. The zigzag riding by youngsters who want to flaunt their luxury vehicles and stunt skills on busy roads posed a threat to all, they said.

Youth dies in accident

A 19-year old two-wheeler rider was killed in a road accident involving a private bus at West Hill on Thursday. The victim was identified as Manikandan, son of Shaji, hailing from Paloramala.

Nidhin Sudheesh, who was riding pillion, sustained grave injuries in the incident which took place at 9 a.m. He was admitted to a private hospital in the city.

According to police sources, the motorbike was fully crushed under the wheels of the private bus which was on its way to Kannur. Manikandan succumbed to injuries on the spot.

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