This speed-breaker on the D.G.H. Dinakaran Salai Road was painted recently

Image credit: Issac James Manayath

Five days after the accident on DGS Dinakaran Salai Road that killed race driver Ashwin Sundar and wife, residents living adjacent to the spot complained that over speeding vehicles continued to be a common sight.

“Over speeding vehicles, especially two wheelers, are a common sight,” said Pukazhendhi D.N., a resident of Santhome who uses the road frequently.

He complained that the traffic police had done little to stop these vehicles. “They stop vehicles during day time. But at night, they are not so active,” he said.

Some even suggested placing limits on the Cylinder Capacity of motorbikes sold in the city.

“Bikes above 150cc should be banned,” said Mohan who is a local resident.

Avinash Ramachandran, a city-based student agreed. He noted that youngsters who had limited experience were riding 500 cc bikes on the city’s roads.

“If you ask them, they will say that they have been driving since the age of 12, which itself is a violation of road traffic rules,” he said.

Mohan noted that youngsters had a tendency for rash driving.

When asked if he felt safe when riding on Chennai’s roads, he said, “I avoid driving as much as possible.”

He felt public transport should be encouraged on a larger scale.

“This will help decongest our roads and also help reduce accidents,” he said.

Although the traffic police was blamed for not doing their job, some in the police community felt that despite their efforts, riders are not obeying the basic rules and regulations.

S Ramesh, a traffic policeman who was patrolling the DGH Dinakaran Salai Road, said that despite various awareness programmes, many riders still didn’t wear seat belts or obey traffic lights. He was stopping vehicles barely 50 meters from where Sundar’s car went up in flames. He denied Pukazhendhi’s claim that traffic police were inactive at night.

However, not many agreed that the fault lay in over speeding and traffic violation alone. Some said that the government was at fault for not doing enough to promote road safety.

The accident, which killed Sundar and his wife, occurred when the car in which they were travelling at a high speed encountered a non-illuminated speed breaker. Krishnakumar an auto driver from the locality said that only two days ago the speed breaker had been painted. He agreed that it was difficult to spot the non-illuminated speed breaker at night.

Murugadas, a bike rider, said “The police are penalizing us for not obeying the rules. The government should make sure that roads are safe first. Don’t blame the drivers. Go and find out how many traffic lights in the city don’t function properly and how many speed breakers and not marked.”