Road accidents and casualties caused by them are rising unabated. In 2015, accidents on roads killed 400 people a day, the highest ever, compared with 382 in 2014 and 390 in 2011.
Last year also witnessed the highest number of accidents on the roads, at 5,01,423 or 1,374 a day, according to the data compiled and released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The ministry’s report blamed irresponsible driving for most (77 per cent) accidents, but Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said “faulty engineering” was one of the key reasons. He said strict measures were being taken to reduce accidents, adding that his ministry was aiming to halve such incidents.
Releasing a report on road accidents in India in 2015, the minister said he is “deeply pained” at the findings that show 17 deaths in 57 crashes per hour and over 54 per cent of those getting killed being in the age group of 15-34 years.
“Let people criticise us but I want to make the report public. 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,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
“This magnitude was not killed in wars, epidemic and militancy,” Gadkari said according to the agency.
Gadkari said that India is the only country where driving licences are being issued liberally but the “government cannot allow it anymore”.
With 69,059 accidents, Tamil Nadu witnessed the largest number of road accidents in 2015 and including it, 12 states reported 86.7 per cent of the accidents in the year.
Maharashtra witnessed the second highest accidents at 63,805 followed by
Madhya Pradesh (54,947), Karnataka (44,011), Kerala (39,014), Uttar Pradesh (32,385), Andhra Pradesh (24,258), Rajasthan (24,072), Gujarat (23,183), Telangana (21,252), Chhattisgarh (14,446), West Bengal (13,208) and Haryana (11,174).
However, the maximum number of accident-related deaths occurred in Uttar Pradesh at 17,666 followed by Tamil Nadu at 15,642 and 13,212 in Maharashtra, the report revealed.
“Two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total road accidents and next to them was the group of cars, jeeps and taxis. Share of two-wheelers in total road accidents has increased continuously from 26.3 per cent in 2013 to 27.3 per cent in 2014 and 28.8 per cent in 2015,” the report said. FE & PTI