A Toyota Innova fell from an incomplete flyover at Red Hills in Chennai on Thursday night, killing three persons of the same family and two others, including the driver, were left injured. The vehicle fell from a height of over 30 feet into a pit full of rainwater. Incidents such as these are a reminder that safety measures on our roads are in a dismal state. While traffic habits in road users in India need a lot of improvement, but a massive roadblock before India to attain civilised road usage is the authorities' lackadaisical approach to safety. Our National Highways are unlit, traffic signals aren't active on all intersections, there is no prompt break-down service on the majority of highways and several other such aspects that need to be addressed urgently.
The family and others, all residents of Kolathur in Sriperumbudur, were on their way home from attending an event in Minjur. "The driver did not know it was incomplete and local residents claim there were no barricades," a police source said.
It is so far not know how fast was the Innova doing before falling off from the edge of the unfinished flyover. The facts will be known only after an investigation.
While some reports suggested that the Innova was speeding over the flyover, however, we must keep in mind that such a situation will put anyone, even at speeds up to 40 km/h in trouble. When you drive up on a flyover, all you see is the horizon and when the car levels off and there is no road ahead, there is little the driver can do.
The road authority or the public works department should've blocked the way leading up to the flyover, to begin with. I find myself in an awkward situation saying that road users will have to defend themselves because the departments relating to health and safety are in sorry state.
Street lights are important – the headlamps are not enough on a pitch dark road. The Innova driver probably could have seen the flyover ending a little while before if there were street lamps. So far, all drivers and riders can do is be aware that our roads lack basic safety norms and slowing down and being vigilant can save lives.
Source: The Hindu