When considering the highest number of road-related fatalities reported every year April 10 to April 20 can be regarded as a ‘danger period’ and as such police traffic control units request road users to be extra cautious at this time of the year.
The danger period between April 10 and 20 has already entered the record books with the highest number of 120 to 130 deaths from road accidents reported.
A senior traffic police officer told Daily Mirror the recent statistics had shown that at least 130 people had died countrywide in the past five years during the national festivities in April.
With the long festive holidays in April, people in great numbers begin to return home in the outstations or visit Nuwara Eliya and Kataragama, which have tourist and religious significance.
He said in the old days when there was lesser number of personal vehicles the people mostly used to travel by trains, buses or vans. But in recent times, small groups of family members especially among the lower income groups use three-wheelers to travel to distant destinations.
This is a risky mode of transport because these vehicles are usually overloaded with five to six including children from a single family using these modes of transport.
When small overcrowded vehicles travel long distances the hazards and risks too increase.
In 2017 some 3,100 road-related fatalities were reported countrywide and in the previous few years similar figures were reported, which is an 8% on an average.
However, during the so called danger period such fatalities on an average have been calculated at an alarming percentage of 12 to 13. The number of deaths reported in 2017 alone was 135.
Police statistics have shown the highest number of deaths involved pedestrians, motorcyclists, trishaw users and other commuters.
Therefore, the police request all road users to be extra cautious during the period which starts from today and to help law enforcement authorities to reduce the rate of traffic fatalities. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)