Even as the road safety components on the Araku valley ghat road are being improved, there is a need for a regular road safety audit in a bid to implement the traffic signage, speed-breaker and designs properly on the sharp serpent turns. The widening of the ghat road should be also high on the agenda, opined Road Safety volunteers.
The Araku ghat road is part of the 95-km state highway Visakhapatnam-AnanthagiriAraku road. The ghat road spans for more than 50 km. A senior official at ITDA said the National Highway project516E connecting Rajahmundry and Vizianagaram through Eastern Ghat will lead to widening of the Araku Ghat road, making it one of the best National Highways in the country.
Moreover, tourists – mostly youngsters – coming on bikes and over-speeding buses pose a threat to all motorists. Volunteers and NGOs creating awareness on road safety are of the view that the speed of the vehicles must be monitored as many tend to over-speed. Proper lighting is also required at some of the stretches as fog often envelops the area. Andhra Pradesh Road Safety policy was drafted in 2015 as road safety turned into a public health issue that needs to be addressed with a holistic approach involving concerted efforts from all the stakeholding departments, organizations in the state. With a view to bringing down deaths on roads, the government of Andhra Pradesh aimed at reducing road fatalities by 15 percent by 2020.
One major highlight of the draft policy was continuous identification and rectification of accident-prone spots and road safety audit shall be a regular feature on all the roads. However, the Road Safety audit report has not been made public. Lamenting the lack of traffic sense among motorists, Mahesh, a car driver who regularly traverses the route, said the ones traveling downhill should avoid speeding and give those going uphill necessary space for movement. The bikers also ride fast confusing others, he said. “Widening the roads would be the best bet or as a temporary measure, extending the road near sharp turns can help drivers of heavy
Case filed against the driver, RTA examining tourist bus to pinpoint the reason
The Vizag Rural police on Saturday registered a case against the bus driver Srisailam, holding him responsible for the death of four people and injuries to over 20 others by driving the vehicle rashly on Araku ghat road in Vizag Agency on Friday. The cases were registered under Sections 304A, 338 and 337 of the IPC.
“Though Srisailam, the driver of the bus, claimed that brake failure was the reason for the fatal accident, we suspect that low-visibility, drowsiness of the driver, and over-speeding might have been the reasons for the accident. We will examine the brake system and mechanical condition of the ill-fated vehicle to ascertain the exact reasons for the accident,” said Deputy Transport Commissioner, Vizag, GC Raja Ratnam.