Lanka bears heavy toll from road accidents


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Six persons are killed in road accidents daily and the number of those injured has increased dramatically, according to the National Council for Road Safety (NCRS).

The NCRS said that the number of road traffic deaths reported in Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2014 was around 26, 500 and many of the victims were young males.

NCRS Secretary Chathura Umagiliya said that the head injury was the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

He was addressing an awareness programme held at I.B.M Hall in Puttalam for over 800 schoolchildren.

Highlighting the issue of motorcycle accidents, Umagiliya said that the use of substandard helmets was the main reason for the increasing number of motorcycle deaths in the country.

"The motorcycle safety starts with cyclists and passengers wearing properly strapped helmets to avoid death or serious injury," he said.

By its nature, accidents involving a motorcycle would almost certainly result in more severe injuries for cyclists and passengers, he said.

"The result is usually death, surviving with long-term disabilities or living in a coma or vegetative state," Umagiliya added.

"Now it’s time to implement injury prevention strategies in Sri Lanka to reduce the cost of road crashes and to use the funds so saved to develop the country’s education and infrastructure facilities.

Injury prevention strategies cover a variety of approaches, many of which were classified as falling under the "3 E’s" of injury prevention: Education, Engineering modifications, and Enforcement or Enactment."

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