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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Maha records most 2-wheeler deaths for third year in a row

State Sees 5% Dip, City 4% In Road Mishaps

On an average, 38 people are killed every day in road accidents in Maharashtra, reveals the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2013 report, which was released on Monday . And, most of the deceased were killed in twowheeler mishaps.

For the third consecutive year, the state retained its dubious distinction of having the most number of deaths in twowheeler accidents as well as that of the highest number of pedestrians killed. But the city seemed a tad safer than the rest of the state, with Mumbai ranking fourth among all the cities for two-wheeler mishap deaths. When it came to total accidents recorded in a year, the state ranked fourth, recording 13,245 cases in 2013, while Mumbai came fifth among all the cities. But the report shows that driving in Maharashtra may have improved slightly , as it recorded a 5.2% dip in the number of cases in 2013 than that in 2012, when 13,936 road mishaps were recorded. Similarly, Mumbai saw a marginal dip of 4% compared to the previous year. "Lack of discipline among motorists and bikers leads to the fatalities on roads," said joint commissioner of police (Traffic) B K Upadhyay .
"The marginal dip in road accident in 2013 is due to different drives that are carried out to discourage motorists who do not follow the traffic rules."

At 15,630, Uttar Pradesh witnessed the most number of accident deaths in 2013, followed by Tamil Nadu with 14,996 cases, Andhra Pradesh with 14,647, Maharashtra and Rajasthan with 9,724 road deaths. From 2011 to 2013, the report showed that 40,861 people lost their lives to road mishaps in Maharashtra, while in Mumbai, 2,105 were killed in the same period. The entire country , including union territories, witnessed 4,13,348 road deaths from 2011 to 2013 and 49,527 in more than 90 cities that were surveyed. The report pinned the blame for over 70% road accidents on driver's fault, while it pointed out that a pedestrian's and cyclist's fault accounts for a mere 3-4 % mishaps, and bad roads lead to just 2% accidents in the country . Stating that a traffic police survey shows that 57% road mishap victims in the city were pedestrians and 31% are motorcycle riders and pillion riders, a traffic official also expressed concern over the growing number of youngsters losing their lives. "A majority of road accident victims--at least 60%--are in the 25-50 age group, followed by 30.3% in the 15-24 age group," the official said.

According to experts, motor vehicle population is growing at a faster rate than that of the economic and population growth. The surge in motorization, coupled with expansion of road network, has brought with it the challenge of ad dressing adverse factors such as the increase in road accidents. According to the WHO 2013 survey report, road traffic injuries are the sixth leading cause of death in India. "The majority of accidents are due to speeding of vehicles, especially bikes. We have come up with a drive called Eagle Operation to book helmetless bikers. We have also sought the RTO to conduct the test properly before issuing licences," Upadhyay said.

IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh also said reckless driving and speeding were the main causes of accidents. " A strict system of accountability should be in place for traffic and RTO officers who do not detect motor vehicle offences honestly and instead, take bribes," Singh said. "Licences are issued to novices once agents have paid. RTO officers get regular cuts from agents and so, unworthy people get licences."


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