Accidents on the rise on A-9 highway
[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 April 2003, 14:02 GMT]
Following the re-opening of the Jaffna-Kandy road (A-9) for traffic in 2002, there have been seventy-two vehicle accidents that resulted in eight deaths within the Kilinochchi division of the Tamil Eelam Police Service (TEPS), and accidents have increased in the first quarter of this year, LTTE officials said.
The statistics obtained from the TEPS show that in the first quarter of 2003, 37 accidents on the A-9 resulted in 4 deaths, with 24 people getting critically injured and 9 vehicles totaled. During the entire 2002, 35 accidents caused 4 deaths, with 18 people critically injured and 15 vehicles totaled. In April, so far there have been 4 accidents.
The A-9, badly damaged with potholes and neglected during the war, has been undergoing reconstruction since its re-opening for traffic following the ceasefire agreement. But the worsening conditions on the road during the reconstruction phase, increasing volume of traffic and the aggressiveness of the drivers cause the rise in accidents, TEPS sources said.
However, as a result of the efforts of the traffic division of the TEPS including detection of speed violations using radar-guns, drivers are being made more aware of the safety requirements on the road, sources said. Strict penalties for speed violations are also having an impact, officials said.