Written by Staff Writer
28 Dec, 2019 | 9:21 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The Auditor General’s report has revealed many reasons for the increase in the number of road accidents. According to the report many of these accidents can be prevented. The decade from 2011 to 2020 was named as the Global Plan Decade of Action for Road Safety at the United Nations General Assembly held in March 2010.
While Sri Lanka too was a signatory to this, an action plan to minimize damages during this decade was formulated. The National Council for Road Safety that comprised of 17 state and non-governmental organizations was thereby established.
The Auditor General’s report points out the powers, and resources allocated for this council was inadequate to act on minimizing road accidents. The report adds that 72% of police officials attached to the motor traffic department of the police have not followed the traffic management course.
Although the motor traffic division of the Police maintains a database on fatal road accidents, the National Council for Road Safety, the Motor Traffic Department, the Health Ministry, and the Sri Lanka Insurance Institute are not a part of it.
It has been revealed that the road safety audit which is an important part of ensuring the motorist, as well as pedestrians, has not been conducted for the years 2016 and 2017 due to a lack of trained engineers at the Road Development Authority.
It was also revealed that engineering defects of the road have contributed to increasing the frequency of fatal road accidents and that these defects have not yet been rectified. Pedestrians make up 23% of people seriously injured in road accidents and 32% of the fatalities.
It was observed that pedestrians had to face this accident at about 46 locations at 16 police divisions. It adds that 14 road accidents in 15 police divisions were caused as a result of phone and power lines obstructing the road. It was also revealed that 355 road signs at pedestrian crossings had faded away and this had caused 196 accidents in 18 police divisions.
368 accidents were caused as a result of pedestrian crossings and bus halts being located close to junctions.
The lack of proper inspections to determine the quality and standard of school vans, lack of proper street lights along A grade roads, and the absence of protected railway crossings have been identified as some of the main reasons for the increase in road accidents.
The report states that 108 accidents had been caused as a result of street lamps switching off in 30 police divisions. A lack of proper equipment to identify mistakes of motorists and not renewing drivers license have also been identified as reasons for road accidents.
Analyzing the road accidents that occurred in the previous years many of them were attributed to defects in the structure of the roads. 1434 accidents have been identified to have been caused due to 1938 such defects along roads.
Although 204 areas with a high frequency of road accidents were identified and the details were communicated to the Road Development Authority, they have not been rectified. The procedure to inspect vehicles for their suitability to be driven on roads is also flawed.
The Auditor General’s report points out road accidents can be minimized by all relevant authorities identifying and properly implementing their duties and adds that awareness and contribution of drivers as well as pedestrians are essential to successfully reduce the number of road accidents.
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