One cannot blame only the roads of Himachal Pradesh for road accidents; dangerous driving, overtaking and overspeeding are among the culprits. The state has reported a jump of 11.5% in road accident cases in 2014.
This has been pointed out in the recently released data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which has revealed that the state is at the third place in the country, among all 29 states, in the rate of increase in road accidents for the year 2014.
At the top is Meghalaya, which has reported a 55.2% rise in road accidents while Madhya Pradesh has reported a jump of 16.6%.
Himachal is much ahead of its neighbouring states in percentage rise in road accident cases. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has reported a 10.5% dip, Haryana has shown a jump of 5.4%, Punjab, a rise of 1.1% and Uttarakhand has shown a massive dip of 38.2%. Delhi has shown a jump of 9.8% while Chandigarh showed a dip of 10.5%.
In 2014, HP witnessed 3,325 road accidents as compared to 2,981 in 2013. In 2014, there were 1,403 deaths (including those of 1,219 males and 184 females) and 6,085 got injured. This implies that about 9 accidents took place every day with about 4 people dying and 17 getting injured.
The NCRB has reported that over-speeding is the main cause of road accident deaths in HP, which has cost 619 people their lives. This makes for over 44% of the total deaths. The next big cause is dangerous or careless driving or overtaking which has resulted in 510 deaths (around 36%).There were 82 deaths caused due to defect in motor vehicle and 26 people died while driving under the influence of alcohol. National highway versus state highway.
The national highways in the state have reported more deaths as compared to state highways. In 1,264 road accident cases on national highways in 2014, there were 476 deaths and 2,309 persons were injured. On state highways, there were 686 accident cases which resulted in 223 deaths and 1,254 people got injured. However, on other roads, in 1,375 accidents, there were 704 deaths and 2,522 people were injured.
The cars accounted for maximum deaths in HP in 2014 at 397, followed by buses at 308 and trucks/lorries at 185.The maximum road accidents in the state took place between 3 pm and 6 pm (603) followed by 6 pm to 9 pm (558). As for month-wise analysis, the maximum accidents occurred in October (329) followed by October (302) and December (302).
Himachal director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar has admitted there are shortcomings that need to be addressed as far as road safety is concerned.
He said their department was taking up these issues with the Public Works Department (PWD) from time to time. Steps to deal with the problem include marking of road dividers, crash barriers and parapet along the roads, signage to fix speed limits and speed breaker wherever there is a tendency to speed up, he said. He underlined the need for strictness in issuance of driving licences and vehicle fitness certificates.Cause of accidents on HP roads CauseCasesInjuredDeaths Dangerous/careless
driving6812826 Defect in
motor vehicle10127282 Animal
crossing7103 Weather condition (poor
visibility/other causes)366610 Lack of road
infrastructure322 Vehicles parked
at road shoulders131 Unknown
causes 4110 Other