Road accidents the biggest killer
An average of 8 people are killed in road accidents every day and it is more than the deaths in war. This was pointed out by the State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashok Abeysinghe during the committee stage budget in parliament yesterday.
According to the Police Media release a staggering amount of 3,164 people were killed on our roads last year, a great majority of them 1,211 being riders and pillion riders of motorcycles. Another 930 were pedestrians, 423 were passengers of vehicles, 251 Pedal cyclists, drivers 234 and other categories numbering 08 persons. It is clear from the statsistics that most of the deaths are from motor bikes and according to the police spokesperson most of them are between the ages 18-25.
The minister also said that most accidents happen due to drivers being sleepy during driving due to lack of sleep and fatigue and that the Road Development Authority organising an awareness programme to educate drivers on dangers of driving while feeling tired and sleepy.
The death average for last year per day was 7 and it has increased to 8 which means more reckless, indisciplined and negligent drivers are in the roads.
With the intention of controlling the accidents the ministry had decided to increase the fine of 7 serious offences up to Rs. 25,000, these offences include drunk driving, driving across railway lines, driving without a valid driving license and reckless driving.
The most recent accident which got media attention was the accident in Walapane on 24th march, where a bus carrying a group of 62 people plunged down a 200 meter precipice killing 3 people and injured 59 .
Increase in the number of vehicles on roads also have affect the increase in deaths due to accident, according Motor Traffic Department statistics by 2018 total of 7,727,411 have been recorded to be in roads and 479,340 new vehicles have been registered in the same year.
In order to have a proper road system to avoid accidents due to increase in vehicles, the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka had said that the government has allocated 30% from the budget to development of roads.