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Need to check accident rate stressed

By Our Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA, JAN. 9. The Additional Transport Commissioner, V.Malyadri, has underlined the need for all sections of the society to contribute their efforts to check the growing number of road accidents in the country.

Addressing the valedictory function of the 16th Road Safety Week organised by the Krishna District Lorry Owners' Association here on Sunday, Mr. Malyadri said while the Transport Department and the traffic police were evolving various strategies to combat the problem, it was essential that children, housewives, pedestrians and other road users involve themselves actively in the awareness campaign to reduce the mishaps. The Transport Department had decided to set up "scientific testing centres" at all RTA offices in the State to adopt a more scientific approach in training the drivers and tighten the licensing system. Such a centre had already been set up on a pilot basis in Hyderabad.

Courtesy lacking

Mr. Malyadri felt that it was not proper to blame the drivers for all the mishaps, as the victims too were responsible for the mishaps due to negligence. He complimented the Lorry Owners Association for taking several initiatives in the district to prevent road accidents and imparting training for truck and heavy vehicle drivers.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vijayawada, G. Sudheer Babu, attributed the growing number of accidents to the lack of basic courtesy and traffic sense among most road users. "In several countries, every road user deems it a duty to extend the minimum courtesy by first allowing the other person to negotiate a turn or pass through. Unfortunately, our people lack such minimum etiquette and no wonder there are so many accidents in the country every year, " he said.

The Andhra Pradesh Lorry Operators' Association (APLOA) president, P.Gopal Naidu, said that about 85,000 people, on an average, were getting killed and over 3.30 lakh were suffering grievous injuries in road accidents every year in the country. In Andhra Pradesh, about 8,200 people died and 35,000 persons were injured in road accidents in 2002 alone. Surveys conducted in this regard also established that most of these road accidents occurred on the city roads.

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