Two states from the region, Punjab and Haryana, are among the list of the top 13 states in India with the maximum number of fatalities in road accidents as per the annual report “Road Accidents in India” for 2016 recently released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
However, while Haryana is also in the list of top 13 states where maximum accidents were reported last year, Punjab is only in the list of states with maximum accident deaths as it reported less number accidents but more deaths.
Punjab has even surpassed Haryana in number of accident deaths. The number of accidents reported in Haryana were almost double than Punjab, but more people died in Punjab, leading to high severity rate. In the city-wise report, again it is the two cities from Punjab, Ludhiana and Amritsar, which have recorded the highest accident severity rate in the country, which is the number of deaths per 100 accidents.
In India, a total of 4,80, 652 accidents were reported last year in which 1,50,785 persons died.
In the region, Haryana reported the maximum 11,234 accidents (2.3%) which increased from 11,174 in 2015. In Punjab, 6,952 accidents (1.44%) were reported. Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of 71,431 accidents in the country (14.9%).
However, when it comes to the states with maximum fatal accidents, Punjab surpasses Haryana in the list of top 13 states. In Punjab, 5,077 people died in just 6,952 accidents. This is 3.4% of total accident deaths in the country.
Whereas in Haryana, 5,026 people died in 11,234 accidents reported last year which is 3.3% of the accident deaths in the country. Uttar Pradesh recorded the maximum accident deaths with 19,320 persons dying in road accidents which is 12.8% of the total accident deaths in the country.
The national average of the accident severity rate is 31.4 which is the number of persons killed per 100 accidents.
In Ludhiana, 357 accidents of the total 549 were fatal in which 384 persons died. Ludhiana recorded the highest severity rate in the country (69.9).
In Amritsar, 97 of the total 152 accidents were fatal in which 102 persons died and severity rate was 67.1. In Chennai, 1,183 persons died but more than 7,000 were injured and thus its severity rate stood at 15.8. Similarly in Delhi, 7,154 persons were injured in accidents and 1,591 died and severity rate was recorded at 21.6.
Even the cities like Patna (52), Varanasi (49.6), Kanpur (47.1), Ghaziabad (47.5), Agra (49.2) and Asansol-Durgapur (58.4) recorded lower severity rate than Ludhiana and Amritsar.
From Haryana, Faridabad witnessed 208 fatal accidents in which 212 persons died and severity rate stood at 34.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Navdeep Asija, traffic advisor Punjab, who has filed petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking for ‘right to walk’ for common people, said, “The major reason for Punjab accounting maximum deaths in the region is because there is no focus on infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
They also need protection on roads. Secondly, people in Punjab do not wear helmets while driving two-wheelers. Alcohol consumption by drivers is another major issue. Also, the movement of tractor trolleys increase in harvesting seasons leading to accidents. But pedestrians and cyclists need to be protected on roads on priority to reduce accident fatalities in Punjab.”
The High Court has asked for the reply from the government of Punjab on the issue of increasing accident deaths and petition will come up for hearing on September 22.