Road accidents in Sri Lanka: Correlations of psychological, cultural and geographical factors in eastern province, Sri Lanka
Samarakoon MT, Wijewardhana BVN, Shayamali WMW
At present, the road accidents can be considered as one of the highly threatening causes of deaths. In Sri Lankan context fatal accidents are rising in a considerable manner according to the statistics in year the 2015; where 2801 deaths and 2590 fatal accidents have been reported in Sri Lanka Government, Civil Societies and all the responsible parties in Sri Lanka have implemented various strategies to prevent accidents in addition to the enforcement of traffic laws. Even though there is no reduction in accidents, it has been reported that majority of the accidents are occurred in the Eastern Province. The persuading factor of this study is to identify whether there are special reasons or causes affecting accidents in the Eastern Province. If it is so what are they? How those factors are special or different from other provinces or country? What are the preventive factors or strategies that can be applied? In addressing the above, this study has been done in Akkarepaththu police area where the accidents occur with higher rate in Ampara District in the Eastern province and the samples were selected in two ways. First, randomly selected 117 public, drivers, police officers, students and other communities in the area. Data was gathered through questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions. At the second stage used, Forum Theater activities specially did chain of street drama in congested city areas to focus the message of road accidents. This drama research team communicated and built an image among community about the accidents. Along with questionnaires, focus group discussion with participants. Motor cycles and three wheelers have been the major cause of road accidents in the area with a percentage of 75% and 21% respectively. There is a strong connection with psychological, cultural and geographical factors with accidents and it appears through the factors: Women used to sitting by side owing to their cultural factors on the motor cycles, almost all in the Muslim community and they claim their ownership in geographical resources to their way, so that Muslim community act disobediently with law enforcement, military attitudes and heroism are directly and indirectly affecting accidents in the Eastern province. In addition to, it is observed that the juveniles and young men do not hesitate to violate traffic rules in the area. Proper guidance and awareness with implementation of law must be focused with this situation were seen as the suggested solutions for the road accidents in the area.