MARGAO: The roads in the State’s South district proved their “killer instinct” as they claimed 90 lives, while over 200 persons were injured in 148 minor accidents reported last year.
Police said 60 per cent of the above accidents, which included fatalities and minor mishaps, involved mostly riders, persons aged between 20 and 50 years.
It is pertinent to note that of the 90 fatal accidents reported in South Goa in 2022, 38 were reported in the Salcete taluka mostly in Margao Police Station jurisdiction. Of 148 minor accidents reported in the district, 62 occurred in villages of Salcete taluka with 20 each registered in Maina-Curtorim and Fatorda Police Station jurisdictions.
However, the police detected 85 of 90 fatal accidents while five are pending investigations. Of 148 minor accidents, police detected 144 accidents.
Investigations revealed that 18 persons were killed in Vasco Police Station jurisdiction followed by Ponda (16) and Margao (13).
It appears that the police drive against drunk driving, over speeding and rash driving has had little impact.
These accidents occurred despite South Goa Police stations booking 31,324 persons under the Motor Vehicle Act for violations such as over speeding, rash driving, driving without licence, non-use of seatbelts and helmets.
According to available information, of the 31,324 cases, 5,662 were booked by Collem Police Station followed Ponda (5,015), Canacona Police (4,253) Curchorem Police (4,086) Margao Police (2,018) and Cuncolim Police (2,614).
Senior citizen Milind Raiker said, “Fatalities and injuries sustained in road accidents are matters of great concern particularly with the recent surge in accidents in South Goa. Major accidents cause deaths, disabilities and hospitalisation. This traumatises the families of the affected due to untimely deaths, injuries, disabilities, etc.”
“The main objective of drives launched by Traffic Cells in South Goa against drunk driving, over speeding and negligent driving was to inculcate traffic discipline and better road sense among motorists, but this drive has not helped in reducing accidents,” lamented Ulhas Kerker, a Salcete resident.
It may be recalled that in wake of the fatal accident reported on the old Zuari Bridge in July last year which killed four people, the police had stepped up its campaign against traffic violations, with special focus on curbing driving under the influence of alcohol and driving in a rash and negligent manner.
A retired Traffic Cell PSI said, “Driving under the influence of liquor is one of the major causes for road accidents while poor maintenance vehicles and reckless driving lead to the accidents.”
He said, “Traffic police often organise public awareness programmes to educate the people, particularly drivers on the importance of road safety and create public awareness on first aid.”
“Strict scrutiny should be undertaken before issuing driving licences to new drivers. The new drivers should undergo tough driving and written exams. The drivers should undergo proper and frequent medical examinations for the diagnosis of epilepsy and heart diseases so that these will not be a problem for safe driving,” he added.