Follow road rules, civic body chief tells auto drivers

Over 80% of road accidents are reported in 20% accident-prone areas and if road users follow the rules scrupulously, they can avoid them, according to Madurai Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan.

Addressing the valedictory function of Road Safety Month here on Tuesday, he advised the autorickshaw drivers not to alter the seating arrangement in their vehicles against the rules.

“You should be careful in the safety of yourself alone, but also that of your customers, who also have their families waiting at home,” he told them.

Mr. Visakan said that nothing was more precious than one’s life and, hence, the drivers should follow all safety precautions on the road rather than focusing only on taking passengers. The Corporation was ready to extend all cooperation to the city police in maintenance of free flow of vehicular traffic.

“We are ready to shift any parking lot on need base,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) K. Sugumaran said a small city such as Madurai had 14,200 autorickshaws plying with permits. Like the drivers of State-run buses and Corporation vehicle drivers, auto drivers too had a major role in making the city accident-free.

He advised them not to alter the seating arrangement and avoid overloading. “Whenever an auto meets with an accident, insurance is denied to passengers if the vehicle is overloaded as per insurance rules,” he warned.

He said drivers should avoid stopping their vehicles at will without proper signaling as it led to accidents. They should also avoid driving in the wrong direction.

Mr. Sugumaran appealed to the Corporation to take up thermoplastic road markings, especially for pedestrian crossings.

A psychiatrist, Kavitha Fenn, stressed the importance of the golden hour in shifting accident victims to hospitals to save their lives.

Mr. Visakan released a short film, Uyir Kavalan, produced by Inspector of Police Thangamani of Madurai City Traffic Police.

Assitant Commissioners of Police (Traffic) A. Tirumalai and Mariappan were present.

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