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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Maha’s highways among the deadliest

Puja Changoiwala, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 26, 2013
First Published: 10:22 IST(26/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:25 IST(26/6/2013)

Figures from from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that 45,247 accidents were reported in the state last year, in which 13,936 persons were killed.

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Data from the state highway traffic police shows that of these figures, around 13,333 people were killed and 43,847 injured in accidents on the state highways last year.

Blame it on the lack of infrastructure, hospital facilities and police outposts along the roads, their poor condition, or rash driving, but the number of accidents reported each year on the 15 national highways and 291 state highways in Maharashtra, stretching 33,165 kms, apart from the arterial roads, remain consistently high.

The statistics reveal that Maharashtra ranked second in the country in the number of road accidents last year, with the highest number of vehicles registered here.

In road fatalities, the state came fourth after Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The statistics also revealed, 45,247 accidents were reported in the state last year, in which 13,936 persons were killed.

Data from the state highway traffic police shows that of these figures, around 13,333 people were killed and 43,847 injured in accidents on the state highways last year.

Traffic officials said a major reason for deaths on highways is because help is not provided in the ‘golden hour’ — the first hour after an accident is the most crucial and if medical help reaches the victims within this time, most lives can be saved.

But owing to very few trauma centers along the highways, availing immediate medical help becomes difficult.

“Even in the case of this accident, there is no trauma care unit along the entire NH17.

 The closest trauma centers are only at Ratnagiri, Mumbai and Goa that are several kilometers away,” said Prashant Mohite, superintendent of police, Thane region highway traffic.

An official from the state highway traffic police said admitted the force is not adequately equipped to help accident victims more effectively.

“There are not more than 60 traffic aid posts (TAPs) to man the 33,165-km-long state highways. So every traffic post has to monitor and control traffic on a stretch of over 550 kilometers each.

If the surveillance was higher, accidents would have seen a decline,” he said.


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