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Police step up road safety

20 June 2011

Police step up road safety

Deaths on Mauritian roads increased, if only slightly, in the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2010.

As of the end of May, 44 fatal accidents led to 59 people being killed – in 2010, for the same period, there were four more fatal accidents and 51 deaths.

Most of the casualties were either pedestrians (19 for 2010, 18 in 2011) or motorcycle or cycle riders (19 for 2010, 15 in 2011). A source from the Police Traffic Branch explained that the police are implementing new measures to control traffic and cut the number of road deaths.

“The figures showed a decrease in the number of accidents for the comparative periods of time but unfortunately the figures indicated that more people died on the roads. This could be explained by the tragic accident in St Julien where 10 Bangladeshis and a Mauritian driver lost their lives in one single accident,” he said.

One of the new measures has been to increased police visibility and patrols on the riads. “More roadblocks and police stop controls have been set up since January this year with a prime objective to decrease the number of drink-driving cases and speeding,” he said.

Since January this year, Rs36 million was paid to the authorities for speeding offences in two speed camera zones – between Pailles and Camp Chapelon – on the M1.

Police have notified the government that 15 more speed cameras will be needed in strategic sites on the island which are known for a high level of accidents. Minister of Public Infrastructure Anil Baichoo has agreed to the police request since the two cameras on the M1 have encouraged a positive change in the mentality of Mauritian drivers.

A nother measure which police hope will help cut the number of accidents will be the introduction of the driving licence penalty points system. Prime MinisterNavin Ramgoolam recently confirmed that the new system will be introduced by the end of this year.

Alcohol tests have been more frequent since January with officers equipped with the latest technologies to determine if drivers are over the limit. The latest fatal road accident claimed the lives of two people, leaving three others seriously injured on June 14.

The driver, Kim Fon Youn, and a passenger were killed. Police spent nearly an hour freeing the driver from the vehicle.

The vehicle was travelling from Tamarin to Baie du Cap carrying construction workers to their work site. According to police, the driver of the minibus lost control of his vehicle and it drifted on the wet slippery road, smashing against a tree.

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