Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Lack of awareness regarding traffic and safety rules is the root cause of wrong-side driving. Wrong side driving is not only rampant in cities of MP, but also on the state highways. This has given rise to as many as 416 fatalities in the first six months of this year, i.e. from January till June 2023, the data disclosed by the officials of the Police headquarters (PHQ) revealed.
The data further mentioned the deaths caused due to wrong side driving are merely 7.2 per cent of the total deaths that have taken place on state highways this year. The total number of fatalities caused on the highway this year stand at 7528. Moreover, the number of road accidents caused due to wrong side driving/riding stands at 2129. Sources at the PHQ told Free Press that wrong side driving is a common practice on the state highways, as almost no, or less cut points have been placed there. Owing to this, the commuters often have to drive/ride their vehicles on the wrong side for at least three kilometres. This results in road mishaps often, sources added.
It was also learnt that the process of issuance of challans on the state highway has also turned ineffective, as only 25 per cent of the violators are fined on the highways for the offence. Among those who died this year, 72 per cent people belonged to the rural areas, while 28 per cent of them belonged to the urban areas. The situation is worrisome, as the death toll due to wrong side driving had logged a count of 427 in the entire 2022, while the count for the first six months of 2023 is close to the total count for 2022.
Refinement of black spots underway: ADG Janardan
Additional director general of police training and research institute (PTRI), G Janardan said the black spots on the state highways are being refined, so that less or almost no accidents occur there. Offenders are being monitored too, by means of CCTV cameras, he added.