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Drunk driving main cause of road accidents in Kohima

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 15, 2022 1:12 am
Kohima Police with High School colony members during an awareness programme on road safety in Kohima on Wednesday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Sep. 14 (EMN): Kohima district has reported a total of 61 road accidents this year, and most of the cases were related to drunken driving, according to the Kohima Police.

Presenting a report on road accidents registered in Kohima district this year (January to August 2022), Additional Superintendent of Police (Traffic and Protocol) DEF, Kohima, K Soriso, said a total 61 road accidents, including three fatalities (deaths) and 28 injuries were reported during the eight months. (Refer table)

He was speaking at an awareness programme on road safety held at High School colony Panchayat hall on Wednesday.

In 2021, a total of 180 accident cases, including four fatalities and 51 injuries were recorded.

The police officer pointed out that drunk driving is the main cause road accidents in the district. Citing the cases in the past, he said most of the road accidents in the state happen during the festive season – November, December and January – and most of the fatalities were due to overspeeding, followed by drunk driving.

‘Distraction in the form of talking on phones, adjusting mirrors, putting on seat belts, etc, red light jumping, avoiding safety gears like seatbelts and helmets, and non-adherence to lane driving were some of the main reasons for crashes,’ he said.

Road accidents also occur when pedestrians do not follow or are careless about the road safety rules. Besides, passengers, vehicles, road and weather conditions are some of the factors that contribute to road accidents, he added.

The challenge of making roads safer can be made only with the support and commitment of the community and public, the police officer said while urging the people to be responsible. He sought public support to save lives and prevent accidents.

He encouraged citizens to become the first responder in case of any accident as police cannot reach the spot immediately. He also reminded that a ‘Good Samaritan Award’ has been instituted to recognise citizens for their prompt action.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Manom Wallim, spoke on the Motor Vehicles (driving) Regulations, 2017, at the event.

While laying emphasis on the duties of drivers and riders, he said the first thing one should do when stepping into a car is put on the seatbelt, adjust mirrors and drive with care and caution.

One should not drive when they are not physically and mentally fit, he stated while informing that it is illegal to use mobile phones of any nature while driving.

Vulnerable users of the road like children, senior citizens, cyclists etc. should be given the right of way, he added.

Majority don’t wear seatbelts

‘While wearing seatbelts is mandated by the law, most of the citizens in Nagaland do not use seatbelts. Let alone the recent law imposing a fine on passengers not wearing seatbelts in the rear seat, even drivers don’t follow it in the state. It is very important to use a seatbelt irrespective of short or long distance and speed,’ he said.

As for the motorcycle riders, he pointed out the misconception that pillion riders can avoid wearing helmet while it’s not the case. In most cases, the traffic police let the pillion riders without helmets off the hook, but one should wear authorised helmets and close the strap, he added.

He said traffic rules and regulations should be imparted to the citizens starting from schools and not when one starts driving. Further, he said that vehicles on the highway and going uphill should be given precedence.

Correct use of signals

Drivers and riders should use signals, be it mechanical or hand signals in a proper way, the police officer said, adding indicators should be used on time (not too early or late) to avoid confusing others.

Do not overtake or stop or park when it is not safe. No vehicle should overtake in a misty condition, on a bend, corners, narrow culverts, intersections and junctions, and school, hospital and construction zones, he said.

Halting and parking vehicles is a huge problem in the state and one of the biggest menaces is parking of cars on the footpath, intersection/junction, in front of the entrance or exit of property, opposite another parked vehicle or double parking (alongside parking), it was informed.

For vehicle lighting, he said one should know how to use a high beam and dipper lights accordingly. Retrofitted LEDs are illegal and should be avoided, he said, adding that fog light is for incoming cars to recognise one’s car and not to see through the mist.

Hazard warning lights of the vehicle should be switched on immediately when the car is not in a good condition. It is used only when stationary and should not be misused, he informed. 

The police officer lamented that drivers and riders do not give priority to emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders but instead get annoyed by the sirens/sounds.

Drivers should be respectful towards emergencies and give way, he added.

Starting with Ward-1, High School colony, the Kohima Traffic Police will continue to conduct road safety awareness in the rest of the wards in the coming days. 

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 15, 2022 1:12:13 am