With Winter Nearing, Stray Cattle Menace Threaten To Turn fatals || SNE
By TIMES OF INDIA .
Nov 30, 2019
As winter is round the corner, which brings fog out on the roads, the large number of stray animals on the Ludhiana-Jagraon and Ludhiana-Delhi highway may prove a risky affair for commuters. Already, stray animals are responsible for five deaths on these roads in the current year.
The Times of India found a number of stray cattle along the road from Jagraon to Ludhiana, with the maximum number of such cattle between Chowkiman and Mullanpur town. Stray cattle were seen sitting on the sides of the road and on the median spaces having green shrubs and plants, while a few were seen roaming on the high speed road. On October 4, there were two big bulls roaming on Ludhiana-Jagraon highway near Mullanpur at 7.50pm, with many vehicles having miraculous escapes. On the Ludhiana-Khanna and Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, the situation is more or less the same with stray cattle being seen around these busy roads.
With stray cattle suddenly appearing on the high speed roads, it is very hard for drivers to slow down their vehicles, causing accidents. The problem gets worse after sunset, as lack of proper lights makes driving risky. Residents who frequently travel on these busy roads say that with winter approaching, the stray cattlemenace on these roads is a recipe for fatal accidents during days of heavy fog.
“The problem has become acute on the highways in Ludhiana district. The worst aspect of the problem is that as winter is round the corner, and visibility reduces due to fog, it is a double risk driving on the highway. Besides, the problem gets severe in the evening and night hours, as visibility is much less at that time,” said Manjeet Singh, a trader of Dugri, who frequently uses highways in Ludhiana. He added that since the government collects so much money, it should make efforts to ensure stray cattle are housed in structures meant or them.
National Road Safety Council member Dr Kamaljit Soi, a road safety expert, said, “Of around 385 deaths on roads in the Ludhiana Commisssonerate in 2018 (submitted by the agency concerned in a court), 7 to 8% of the road accident deaths were due to stray cattle. He added that the main reason for stray cattle on the roads is that the government has not provided shelter to the animals, which is why they come on the roads and become a cause for fatal accidents.”
The road safety expert said the risk increases substantially during winter, as fog decreases visibility on the roads. He added that the solution to the problem was to guard the roads through fencing, and let slow moving traffic on the service road along with stray animals, so that they do not come out on the main roads.
Drive the vehicle at a speed that can be brought down soon if suddenly stray cattle appear on the road.
* Glasses should be kept clean, especially during foggy weather, so that one can spot stray cattle.
* Drive at low speed on the road stretch where there is no fencing on the roadside.
* Use caution at all times. The moisture in the air may continuously collect on the windshield, making it more difficult to see. Adjust the defroster and windshield wiper speed as necessary. Use emergency signal at all times.
Stray animals claimed the life of Keshav Verma of Ludhiana, whose car met with an accident on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway near Bhanohar village in Punjab, after stray cattle suddenly appeared on the road.
Akashdeep Singh, a labourer and resident of Umedpur village, died at PGI Chandigarh after suffering serious injuries when his motorcycle collided with stray cattle near Nanadpur village.
Ten persons were injured seriously, while 42 others suffered injuries after a multiple collision between a truck, bus, and Innova car due to fog near Mohanpur village on the Ludhiana-Khanna national highway.