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An interception with a difference

M. Gunasekaran

Vision test for drivers to minimise accidents



FITNESS FIRST: A truck driver undergoes health checkup at the special camp in Tirupur on Sunday. - Photo: M. Balaji

TIRUPUR: Truck drivers passing through Town Hall here on Sunday were taken by surprise. When traffic constables intercepted their vehicles and asked them to park their vehicles, they were a bit confused.

Unlike the usual practice, the policemen did not ask them to produce the photocopy of the R.C. book or licence. They politely invited the drivers to undergo tests to check vision and blood pressure.

The special camp was organised by the Tirupur police as part of the ongoing accident prevention drive in association with Revathi Medical Center and L.S. Eye Hospital.

During the two-hour camp, five among the 25 drivers were found to have defective vision, sources said. They were asked to undergo comprehensive screening and if needed spectacles would be prescribed. Besides drivers of lorries, minidor autos, tempo travellers, other commercial vehicle drivers also benefited from the camp.

Weekly affair

"Drivers are happy with this as they need not spend money or extra time for this. We plan to conduct similar camps once in a week,'' says V. Balakrishnan, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Tirupur.

"Most of the accidents take place during night. The drivers, who crossed 40 years of age, should compulsorily undergo eye check up. Many drivers are unaware that there is a defect in vision,'' Mr. Balakrishnan says.

The Tirupur police have completed painting black rounds on headlights to 5,000 vehicles and they would complete another 10,000 vehicles in three days.

Following the rise in number of accidents, Inspector General of Police, Western Zone, A. Subramaniam, began the pro-active accident prevention drive, sources said.

V.S. Palaniappan writes from Coimbatore:

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Subramanian said that the law-enforcing agency was concerned about the increasing number of accidents especially on the highways. Hence a simultaneous exercise was carried out in the seven districts and two police Commissionerates in the West Zone.

Last week, the entire police force was mobilised for two hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on one day to conduct vehicle checks in all arterial and feeder roads in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Coimbatore and the Nilgiris besides Salem and Coimbatore cities.

Cases registered

In two hours, the personnel registered 2,408 cases of which the majority related to overspeeding, overloading, drunken driving, use of dazzling headlights, driving without a valid licence, use of cellular phones and more than 900 petty offences.

Given the number of cases registered, Mr. Subramanian pointed out that a sustained enforcement drive would yield desired results.

More speed radar guns

More speed radar guns would be used on all arterial roads. Prosecution notices regarding overspeeding would henceforth be sent to the residences of motorists. This would make family members aware that the motorist was violating rules. By drawing the attention of the family, a substantial number of overspeeding cases could be minimised, the IG said.

Various police unit officers in the West Zone are being asked to tie up with the District Blindness Control Societies, voluntary organisations and eye hospitals for conducting exclusive eye check-up camps for drivers. To begin with, all drivers in the police department would be subjected to eye check-up, Mr. Subramanian said.

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