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Road Accidents: 18 Die Every Hour

August 11, 2023 06:52 IST

While this figure is not the highest globally, it is still not the lowest.

IMAGE: The mangled remains of a truck after it met with an accident on the Eastern Express Highway in Thane. Photograph: ANI Photo

In 2021, India witnessed a tragic loss of 18 lives every hour due to road accidents, according to Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.

He addressed this issue while responding to a question raised by Mumbai South Member of Parliament Arvind Ganpat Sawant and Badaun MP Sanghamitra Maurya in the Lok Sabha on July 20.

The data received from police departments of all states and Union Territories indicated a total of 153,972 road accident fatalities in 2021, averaging 18 deaths per hour.

While this figure is not the highest globally, it is still not the lowest.

According to the 2022 edition of the International Road Federation's World Road Statistics, the number of road accident-related deaths per 100,000 population varies between 0 and 39.4.

For India, it is 9.5.

The minister attributed road accidents to various causes, including speeding, use of mobile phones while driving, drunk driving, driving on the wrong side or lane indiscipline, jumping red lights, failure to use safety devices like helmets and seat belts, vehicle condition, weather and road conditions, and human errors by drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The ministry also informed the House that to address the issue of road safety, it has formulated a multi-pronged strategy based on education and engineering -- both of roads and vehicles, enforcement and emergency care.

It also said at least 130 stretches of national highways have been identified for development as Model Safe Roads under the ministry and 85 project stretches of NH have been identified for development as Model Safe Construction Zone.

A road safety audit of all highways is now compulsory at all stages, including design, construction, operation, and maintenance, conducted by third-party auditors or experts.

Additionally, vehicles are now required to have airbags in the front seats and seat belt reminders for the driver and co-driver.

Further, it specifies the use of a safety harness, and crash helmet, and restricts speed to 40 kilometres per hour.

Speeding warnings are also mandatory in some vehicles.

The vehicle scrappage policy has been introduced as part of the efforts to reduce fatalities.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

Aditi Phadnis
Source: source image