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Saturday, July 28, 2012

killer roads of Chennai and the accident at Marina

The city of Chennai is known for its lanes and bylanes – and there are not many motorable roads in its real sense.  The Beach road aka Kamarajar Salai is a stretch which generally flows free with traffic

The roads of Chennai are fast becoming killing fields with so many accidents getting reported – with some stretches like Tambaram, far off Manali – becoming notorious for the no. of accidents and the casualties. People drive mad, often without control.  Most driver lack or are not aware of the road sense, road discipline, respecting signals and road rules, respecting the other road users, allowing elderly, small and disabled to cross the roads – all these are missing. At every signal, you  can spot vehicles jumping the signals or driving faster when the signal has already closed.  There are fools, [even owning some costly cars] who drive faster behind the ambulance, when the ambulance somehow wades its way through.

There are barricades put up in late hours and removed after dawn – they are placed partially across the road one on the left and the other after a few meters on the right – intending that vehicles will have to slow down and pass them one by one, slightly altering their paths; but they become so dreaded and dangerous as most vehicles, especially the commercial taxies, sumos, and trucks – never care to reduce their speed would swerve dangerously making everyone else run for cover and they pass those barriers so recklessly. 

Coming back, Marina beach has beautiful wide platform on which hundreds do their morning walk – this is protected by iron railings placed on stone pedestals – after the footpath, there are again, smaller girders and then grassy lawns – many statues there inside. 

This morning [28th July 2012] near Avvaiyar statue - saw a lorry, which had totally lost its control – ran through the barrier, the pavement, dislodged the stone pedestal and into the lawns – the speed, lack of control, arrogant driving – all there to see.  Sad that in that process, it killed a two wheeler rider, in the early morning  of around 0430 – perhaps a person who was going home after finishing nightshift or somebody going to job early in the day. Sad, and most likely that the 2 wheeler was riding on his path, as could be seen from the accident spot.  Whether the truck was indeed driven by a driver with valid license, whether he was intoxicated or slept at the wheel or something else happened – all can be hazarded a guess.

Sure, there is need for very strong measures to bring in road discipline and stop the spilling of blood on road.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
28th July 2012. 

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