IGP says 2,444 killed in road accidents last year

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon (IGP) last week revealed that in 2012 about 2,444 persons, including school children, had died in road accidents. There were 42,145 accidents in that year. Of the 2,444 deaths around 320 persons had died due to accidents involving private buses. About In the Western province alone 100 persons had been killed in accidents.

IGP Illangakoon said that he had drawn up a plan to curtail the alarming increase in road traffic accidents. Drivers would be given a special training prior to issuing driving licenses and private buses would be subjected to thorough inspections to detect technical problems. It would be done by the Traffic police, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic and the National Transport Commission (NTC).

He pointed out that the Traffic Police Division of the Sri Lanka police had been instructed to commence the programme without delay as the police had found that reckless driving and high speed driving in competition with other buses were the main reasons for the mayhem on the roads. Driving under the influence of liquor and using mobile phones while driving were other main causes for road traffic accidents, he said at an awareness programme for the private bus Industry, on the Prevention of Road Traffic Accidents, at the Private Transport Ministry recently.

Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka warned of that special team of checkers would be deployed to check all private buses which had been overcharging the passengers. He had received an avalanche of complaints that some private buses were overcharging. It was totally illegal and stringent action against the buses would be taken in due course.

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