Pedestrians should be urged to abide by road rules and tougher laws should be enforced against drunk drivers so that the increasing number of road/traffic-related accidents is brought down, said Dr. U. P. Ariyawansa, the newly appointed director of the Accident Service of the Colombo National Hospital.
Records show that road/traffic-related accidents have been the highest type of accidents during the New Year celebrations. The number of road/traffic accidents has increased from 212 in 2008 to 249 in 2009.
From December 30, 2008 to January 1, 2009, 779 persons have been involved in accidents. 547 of them received treatment at the OPD while 232 were admitted to the wards. Of the total 249 were road/traffic accidents while 149 were home-based accidents.
Five deaths were reported, one due to gunshot injuries with the other four being road accidents.
“Drinking is a major contributor of accidents as most accidents have taken place due to persons being under the influence of liquor. These accidents could have been easily avoided,” he said.
Dr. Ariyawansa said due to public awareness programmes this year the number of accidents due to lighting crackers has come down.