Major road accidents down every month this year


08-June-2009

However, the number of fatal accidents is up – three this year so far compared to none last year over the same period – and minor accidents are also on the increase.

The total of major accidents on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue so far this year are 112 in January, 102 in February, 113 in March and 115 in April. This compares with 155 in January last year, 129 in February, 151 in March and 150 in April.

Sub-inspector Elvis Adrienne of the department’s traffic section attributes the fall in major accidents to regular police patrols and a more efficient prosecution system, which aims to discourage drivers from breaking traffic regulations.
“We have stepped up our patrols and are ever vigilant over drivers breaking the rules,” he said.

“This includes spot fines for offences such as not wearing seatbelts, but also quicker prosecutions for offences such as speeding and for drivers caught racing each other in places like the highway.”

The rise in minor accidents that could easily have been avoided has led the traffic section to warn both motorists and pedestrians to be more alert when using the roads.

Mr Adrienne said these accidents are happening mostly in the town and central areas, which include lower Mont Buxton, St Louis, English River and Mont Fleuri.

“We have had several cases of drivers entering parking spaces, reversing into a spot and hitting another vehicle,” he said.
“We also have drivers recklessly opening their doors and hitting other drivers or pedestrians, and also cases where drivers have hit another vehicle because of having too short a braking distance.”

Mr Adrienne said most of these cases could have been avoided if the drivers had been more careful. He advised drivers to keep a safe braking distance behind other vehicles, to use their mirrors effectively and to keep under the speed limit wherever they are.

Mr Adrienne reminded drivers that it is against the law to exceed the speed limit of 80km per hour on the highway and that people caught racing face being fined or having their licence suspended – or both.

The traffic section has also noted an increase in the number of drivers refusing to give way or not properly giving way to emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines with their sirens on. It is asking drivers to be more considerate in such situations.

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