Around 60 per cent of all road accidents in the city occur at night while the remaining 40 per cent take place during the day, the UT Police’s Road Accident Analysis Cell has discovered after analysing accidents that occurred in 2014. The figures indicates a trend of reckless driving, particularly at night when traffic flow is comparatively thin.
Speeding has emerged as one of the major causes for road accidents. “In most of the accidents, overspeeding is one of the major factors. We keep checking the violation of speed limits and will further intensify the drive against overspeeding,” said Maneesh Chaudhry, Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic).
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The Chandigarh Traffic Police has 16 speed radars to check overspeeding on city roads but of these, only eight can detect speed violations during night hours. “We had placed tenders for two more speed radars that could be functional at night. Five months have passed but we are yet to receive the radars. The new ones will also be able to record videos of the vehicles committing violations,” said Pawan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic).
There is need for the equipment as data shows that violators of speed limits are increasing by the year. In 2012, 19,477 drivers were issued violation tickets (challan) for breaking speed limits and while this number reduced to 19,246 in 2013, it rose drastically to 27,306 speed violators in 2014. Till April 30 this year, 11,250 people have already been fined for overspeeding.
Harman Sidhu, founder of NGO ArriveSAFE that works for spreading road safety awareness, said, “Speed is a known killer as per the WHO and other agencies of the world. While the administration has reduced speed limits on many of the city’s roads to curb accidents, the desired results are yet to be achieved. Also, these days the vehicles are so fine that the drivers do not even realise that they have exceeded the permissible speed limit”.
Sidhu, who has also been saying that Section 304 should be imposed in hit-and-run cases, added: “Amendments in Motor Vehicle Act will act as a deterrent. One, a person is first overspeeding, then he injures an innocent and further speed away from the spot. Its even more serious. Though an accident is unintentional, but escaping from the spot is a very conscious decision. Even before the victim gets a proper treatment, accused is out on bail”.
Rumman, a student of Homeopathic College, Sector 26, said: “It becomes difficult to cross the road these days. Motorists do not stop even if the pedestrians are using the zebra crossing. It appears that nobody is bothered about the speed limits here in Chandigarh”.