Monday, May 25, 2015

Speed Kills

Is Bojoghari becoming a killer zone when it comes to road accidents? On Thursday, a 4-year-old boy from Haryana who had come visiting Sikkim with his family was mowed down by a car near Tashi View Point. On Friday, a 5-year-old girl of 3-Mile Bojoghari was crushed to death by a taxi on the road towards helipad. Less than a kilometer away, a few months ago, a teenager had died when a truck ran him over while he was cycling. As someone who lives in Bojoghari and commutes daily on both the upper and lower roads towards town, I have encountered many speeding vehicles along these routes.
Wider, smoother roads with comparatively lesser traffic have become more of a bane than boon here. For vehicles, both taxi and private, plying towards North Sikkim and heavy vehicles this makes for just the right excuse to “fly” on these roads. The accident that took place on Friday happened at a spot on a smooth stretch of road from where the road opens up wider and most drivers let loose on the accelerator when they reach this spot, especially when they are going downhill.
Lying on the outskirts of Gangtok, Bojoghari is a place that is quickly burgeoning into a small township. A few years ago, the roads were bad and the number of vehicles fewer. Kids playing along the roads was no big deal since there was only the occasional car that passed by. This is not the case anymore. One hopes that these mishaps are not pointing towards a trend. However, it would be wise to station traffic police personnel on some of the points in this area or invest in some technology like electronic speed checkers. Same goes for other areas where such incidents happen frequently or there is a danger of such accidents happening. If authorities can install CCTVs to curtail garbage dumping in jhoras, this is a much more serious issue and precautionary measures can save many lives.

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