Majority of road accident victims are in the 15-34 age group. File photo: K. Ananthan
Majority of victims in the 15-34 age group
An official report, released by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday, said 1.46 lakh people were killed in road accidents in India in 2015 — an increase of five per cent from 2014.
Road accidents, as a whole, rose 2.5 per cent during 2015 to 5.01 lakh or 374 accidents every day, claiming 400 lives, the report said.
A majority (54.1 per cent) of those killed in 2015 were in the age group of 15-34. Thirteen States, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, accounted for the highest number of accidents. Among cities, while Mumbai had the highest number of accidents (23,468), Delhi saw the most number of such deaths (1,622).
Also, drivers’ fault was responsible for 77.1 per cent of the accidents, deaths and injuries, mainly because of overspeeding, the report noted.
Alarmed by the rising road accidents, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has sent a Cabinet note for setting up a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board to advise the government on road safety standards and guidelines.
The body is likely to be chaired by a former Road Transport Secretary.
Safety body mooted to put brakes on road accidents
The Centre has decided to form a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board through an executive order after it failed to push the Road Safety Bill owing to the logjam in Parliament, an official of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said.
“The Ministry never had an advisory body of experts to lay down standards and oversee activities related to road safety,” the official said and added that it would be funded by the Ministry.
“We are sending a Cabinet note to form an advisory body, under our Ministry, mandated to advise on rules and regulations, road safety and road engineering,” a senior official of the Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
According to a senior official of the Ministry, the proposed body will have a permanent office and five or six members with expertise in road engineering, road safety, automobile manufacturing, traffic and trauma care. It will also have a joint secretary from the Ministry as its member and will be set up through an executive order after Cabinet’s approval.
“It is not a good sign that around 1.5 lakh people are killed in road accidents every year. So many were not killed even in wars, epidemic and militancy,” Mr. Gadkari said.
The States would be encouraged to send reports on road accidents and their causes to the Centre every three months.
“Setting up a road safety body through an executive order makes it toothless. The idea to float a Bill was to give powers to the board to set standards, independent of the government, and not give recommendations,” said a member of the S. Sundar Committee on road safety and traffic management, which in 2007 mooted the idea of setting up a Road Safety Board.
NEW DELHI: On an average 17 lives were lost every hour in road accidents in the country last year and more shocking is that nearly half (54 percent) of all persons killed in road accidents were in the productive age group of 15 -34 years, said a report released Thursday.
The report road accidents in India in 2015 released by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that almost 5 lakh accidents occurred last year, killing 146,000 people and leaving thrice the number injured. There has been an increase of 2.5 percent in number of accidents over 2014. More accidents are reported in rural areas owing to poor roads.
The analysis of road accident data 2015 reveals that about 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths take place every day on roads. Thirteen top states lead by Tamil Nadu together accounted for 86.7 percent of all road accidents in the country and around 83.6 per cent of all road accidents fatalities also occurred in the top thirteen states.
In cities, Mumbai had the highest number of road accidents (23,468) while Delhi had the highest number of deaths (1622) due to road accidents. Majority of accidents victims involve two-wheelers.
Expressing deep pain over accidental deaths, Gadkari said: “Our two years of dedicated work and sincere efforts has resulted in not much change but we are committed to changing the scenario as I cannot allow this. My heart fills with immense pain. This magnitude was not killed in wars, epidemic and militancy.”
Drivers’ fault has been revealed as the single most responsible factor for road accidents, accounted for 77.1 percent of total road accidents during 2015 as against 78.8 percent during 2014. Within the category of drivers’ fault, road accidents caused and persons killed due to over speeding by drivers accounted for a share of 62.2 percent and 61 percent respectively.
Gadkari said though the reports lists driver’s fault for 77.1 percent of the road accidents in 2015, faulty road engineering is one of the major causes. He also blamed the UPA for doing away with several overbridges and underpasses on many crucial roads to economise construction cost which has lead to high number of accidents at several places.
India as a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 percent by 2020