The death traps of Bengaluru Rural

Rash motorists, reckless walkers behind high number of accidents

The death traps of Bengaluru Rural

The ghastly accident between a lorry and a motorcycle on National Highway 4 in Nelamangala last Tuesday, which caused the death of a 26-year-old man, shows how the roads in Bengaluru Rural district continue to be a death trap. 

The body of Harish Nanjappa from Tumakuru district was cut in half from the torso in that accident. On an average, two people die in road accidents every day in Bengaluru Rural, the second least populous district in Karnataka. 

The district saw 624 fatal road accidents in 2014 and 2015 each. 

Across Karnataka, nearly 10,000 people were killed in 43,713 road crashes in 2014. So, what explains the high fatalities? 

Arun Chakravarthy, Inspector General of Police (Central), said the accidents mostly occurred on the highways where controlling speed was difficult. Motorists don’t follow the speed limit. 

As much as 78 per cent of the accidents are caused by the driver’s laxity, he said.Pedestrians worst hit

Ramesh Banoth, Superintendent of Police, Bengaluru Rural, said many casualties were pedestrians who “recklessly” cross the highways. 

Vehicles ply at top speed and cannot be controlled easily. Then, there are no proper underpasses or skywalks to help pedestrians cross the road. 

“Many motorists and pedestrians use earphones, listening to music. This makes them deaf to the sound of vehicles,” he said. 

“I would say every junction on the highway can be considered a black spot, as that is the point where vehicles from all sides converge. If drivers are less careful, there will be fatalities.” 

The absence of traffic police stations is another factor. “The government has asked for details on opening traffic police stations in Nelamangala and Hoskote. These traffic police stations will help in curbing road accidents as law and order police cannot monitor their jurisdiction round the clock,” Banoth said. 

According to the office of Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety (CTRS) of the State police, 28 people die in nearly 120 incidents every day in Karnataka. In the last decade, close to 1.2 lakh people have died in road accidents in the State. 

Patrol vehiclesIn 2014, 33 highway patrol vehicles were distributed to 11 districts across the State. 

“For every 50 kilometres, there is a highway patrol vehicle which keeps combing the stretch. The government has announced the purchase of 300 more such vehicles. 

“In 2015-16, 100 vehicles along with accessories will be purchased at Rs 15 crore,” said Ramachandra Rao, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety. “We want to reduce road accidents and book the violators.” 

Another senior police officer said repeat offenders were on the rise. 

“Offenders who go untraced take advantage thinking they cannot be caught.

There is no proof of which vehicle has caused the accident, especially in hit-and-run cases, as there is no CCTV footage. We are planning to instal surveillance cameras at vital points on the highways,” he said.  

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