Auditor General’s report reveals:


Pedestrian crossings too close to bus stands :
No improvement in road network with increase in vehicles :

Non-rectification of road engineering defects is a main cause of road accidents in Sri Lanka, a performance audit report by the Auditor General indicated.

The Auditor General’s report on “Functions performed by Government entities on road safety in Sri Lanka” identifies a series of road engineering defects that have resulted in an increase of road accidents.

Analyzing information obtained from islandwide Police Divisions, the report said having pedestrian crossings too close to the bus stands and intersections, not clearly indicating the pedestrian crossing signs (some of them had erased over time), having electricity and telephone posts obstructing the road and not properly illuminating the roads (inoperative street lamps) had caused a significant number of road accidents.

According to the report, 368 road accidents had taken place in 293 places in 2015 because pedestrian crossings were situated too close to the bus stand or intersection. There were 355 cases where pedestrian crossing signs were not clearly indicated. The audit revealed that there were 109 occasions where electricity and telephone posts existed obstructing the road.

The report citing 2015 statistics also said that 108 road accidents had happened because street lamps were inoperative at night. The report also highlighted that the absence of warning sign boards on culverts and bridges and non-availability of bridge arms had resulted in 76 road accidents during the period under audit. It further said that the non availability of islands in the middle of highways and not properly colouring the existing islands had been the cause for 74 road accidents occurred during the same period.

The report observed that the sign boards on some roads, prepared for both ways but recently converted to one-way vehicular traffic, remain unchanged leading to confusion. The report further said that potholes on the road, having bus halts face to face on both the sides of the road, illegal constructions, non availability of proper traffic control sign boards, and unmarked bus stops had also contributed to road accidents.

It also said certain roads were being renovated for a long time and earth mounds, pile of rocks and rubble remaining on roads as a result had also led to road accidents.

The report also observed that the road network in Sri Lanka has not improved compared to the increase in vehicle registration. While vehicle registrations had increased from 3.9million in 2010 to 7.2 million in 2017, the road network, which was 12,019km in 2010, had merely increased to 12,220 km in 2017.

As per the report, 365,925 road accidents had occured during the period from 2007 to 2016, and 25,607 persons had died as a result. Out of all vehicle types, motor cycles were responsible for most of the road accidents, while three wheelers, Lorries, private buses, vans and motor cars follow the list.

“To create safe roads, conducting a road sefety audit is important, but such audits had not been carried out in 2016 and 2017 because trained engineers were not available in the Road Development Authority,” the report said.

“Learners’ schools registered in the Motor Traffic Department should renew their licenses annually. The registered driving schools as at the end of 2017 amounted to 969, but 480 (49percent) of them had not renewed their registration within the specific period,” the report added.

“A circular had been issued stating that the condition of school vans should be checked once in every 3 months. However 2,170 school vans out of 5,296 school vans available in 2015 had not been checked,” the report said.


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