Monday, 30th October 2017

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Cops seek plan to curb accidents

Fatalities from accidents across Calcutta have reduced from 329 deaths in 2017 to 294 in 2018

  • Published 15.11.19, 1:07 AM
  • Updated 15.11.19, 1:07 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Lalbazar Police Headquarters. (Wikimedia Commons)

Calcutta police on Thursday told officers in charge of traffic guards in and around the city to go through details of road accident cases in their areas and suggest if a plan could be devised to prevent such incidents.

At a traffic review meeting in Lalbazar, officers were told that the number of fatal accidents might have come down on Calcutta’s roads but non-fatal accidents were continuing to happen. Many of those who suffered injuries later died in hospitals and nursing homes. So the death counts continue to rise.

“Immediately after an accident, try to find out whose fault it was. If there are certain changes that need to be made in terms of traffic furniture, traffic signals, road-markings or road engineering in the area, draw up a list so they can be done,” a senior IPS officer told the officers in charge of the traffic guards.

From 407 deaths in 2016, fatalities in the city reduced to 329 in 2017 and 294 in 2018. An analysis of figures has showed that persons aged between 31 and 50 met with the most number of accidents in 2018 compared with other age groups.

The immediate point of reference was an accident on Basanti Highway near Science City on October 29 that left four persons dead — two on a motorbike and two on pickup van. The pickup van hit the motorcycle and rammed into a tree. The two men on the motorcycle died on the spot. Two others succumbed to injuries at a hospital.

Basanti Highway is a part of State Highway No. 3 and sees a mixed traffic comprising buses, cars, two-wheelers, e-rickshaws, trucks and autos every day.

The stretch is notorious for accidents because of sharp bends, potholes and absence of proper signage.

The PWD has conducted several studies to identify “black spots” but that has not helped in lowering the number of fatal accidents over the years. At least nine people have died in 18 accidents in the past three years at the Ghatakpukur and Chandipur crossings on the road.

Calcutta police have started monitoring speeds of vehicles travelling down the stretch because officers have realised that speed-breakers that have been installed are not effective. Similarly, across several stretches, including Ballygunge Circular Road, trees branches have been posing challenge to traffic signals making them less visible from a distance.

Each guard, it was decided, would start trimming branches immediately with the help of a hydraulic ladder and send a report to the police headquarters. Some officers even cited instances of how fog settling around Maidan area in the winters at times accounted for poor visibility on JL Nehru Road.

“There are certain aspects of road engineering that can be worked out with the help of civic body and the PWD,” said an officer. “A median cut can be made slightly wider or more lights can be installed at a certain stretch to bring down accidents.”