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Safety goes for a toss on Odathurai road

There is a high risk of head-on collision on the service road near Sanjeevi Nagar on Chennai Bypass in Tiruchi as vehicle users take the wrong lane.M. MoorthyM_Moorthy

Vehicle users driving on the wrong side of the Odathurai Road, to avoid taking a detour, pose a grave threat to other road users in the city.

The Odathurai road links the Chinthamani area in the city with the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road. After the opening of a road overbridge, the road running along the Cauvery bank was widened and provided with a centre median by the State Highways Department.

The road now attracts heavy traffic as the Thiruvanaikovil Trunk Road remains closed for construction of a road over bridge at Periyar Nagar. Motorists heading towards Ariyamangalam (on the other side) from the road have to take a left on the bypass and travel some distance to take a U-turn near Kondayampettai. Reluctant to take this detour, which runs slightly more than a km, many motorists prefer to go on the wrong side of the Odathurai Road and then turn right to join the service lane of the bypass road.

The problem has turned worse after the Regional Transport Office was shifted to a building along the road as a large number of people visit the office right through the day.

Scores of motorists heading towards Ariyamanglam cross over to the right side of the road through the openings on the median immediately after the Oyamari crematorium. Many vehicle users travel on the wrong side for more than half-a-kilometre, unmindful of the danger. During nights, poor illumination adds to the danger. Motorists also continue to drive on the wrong side for some distance on the service lane before crossing over to the carriage way on the opposite side of the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road.

“It is highly dangerous and this traffic violation is rampant. We have taken up the issue to the notice of the police repeatedly and suggested that the openings in the road medians on Odathurai Road be closed (to prevent motorists from crossing over to the other side). Light vehicles and two wheelers can be allowed to take the right turn at the end of the road by providing an opening leading towards the service lane. This will be a much better alternative. The police should wake up to the danger before a major accident takes place,” said M. Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Services Organisations and member of the District Road Safety Council.


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