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Hit-and-run cases on rise; need for cameras felt


City does not have adequate gadgets to check traffic violators, writes

L. Srikrishna


On Thursday, at around 10.45 p.m., vehicle movement along the American College Shopping Complex stretch got choked. When motorists in the middle of the road inquired about the reason, they found that an accident was the cause for the traffic jam.

On information, traffic police rushed to the spot only to find that a man was lying unconscious with blood all around.

A search of the man's pocket revealed that the victim was a special sub-inspector (SSI) of police attached to the Keeraithurai police station, Madurai city.

Police identified the victim as Selvaraj (48).

He was returning home after duty on his two-wheeler, when a vehicle, suspected to be a government-owned bus, hit the two-wheeler rider from behind and left the scene without informing the police or stopping the bus, police added.

A senior police officer said on Friday that inputs gathered from the public in the locality suggested that a bus proceeding from Arapalayam to Mattuthavani integrated bus stand had crossed the stretch at that time and in all probability, the bus driver might have hit Selvaraj's vehicle. Investigations were inconclusive, he maintained.

Though the government had been claiming to be earmarking funds for modernisation of the police force, there seems to be very little achieved on this front.

According to reliable sources, the city, which has a vehicle population of about one million, does not have adequate gadgets to check violators.

A majority of the traffic signals are still operated manually by policemen.

During the tenure of a few Commissioners in the past, there were steps to procure surveillance cameras and video cameras, but after the transfer of the top officer, the facility too was kept in cold storage, police admitted. Only on major events such as Thevar Jayanthi, they used the gadgets to secure offenders who damaged window panes of government buses.

For a vehicle population like in Madurai, the police feel that user-friendly/state-of-the-art video cameras should be provided with every traffic constable manning major intersections.

Based on video clips, erring motorists should be penalised, which alone would discourage law offenders. Supervisory officers should also be made accountable for frequent violations. Educating the motorists should be a part of the enforcement, officers admit.

The data available with traffic police reveal that in this year so far, four hit and run cases were reported (between January and till April 21) at Vaigai Vadakarai, Tirupparankundram Road, South Veli Street and Goripalayam, while the number of hit and run in 2010 was two.

The number is on the rise, and it is a tough task for the police, who feel the heat.

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