Call it a result of road safety awareness or mere coincidence, but so far this year Gurgaon has recorded the lowest number of deaths due to road accidents in 10 years.
According to police records, 385 casualties due to road accidents were recorded on city roads by November 30. Going by the average of 30 casualties per month and a little over one person per day, the number may touch 415. While by no means less, the figure is still lower than the 435 casualties recorded last year. The highest casualties in the last decade were recorded in 2013 at 487.
In all, 1,092 – 377 fatal and 715 non-fatal – accidents were reported in Gurgaon this year, claiming 385 lives and leaving 1,005 injured. More than half the casualties – 181 – were pedestrians and 113 were two-wheeler riders, which does not bode well for the city’s residents.
“The ideal situation would be zero casualties. But having lesser casualties is always a good sign. At the same time, more pedestrian deaths is a dangerous trend as it means there is no proper infrastructure for people to walk,” said Sewa Ram, professor, transport planning in the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
Police attribute the decrease in casualties to increased awareness and road safety measures by various stakeholders.
“Accidental deaths are about bad road engineering and design rather than law enforcement. Yes, people are becoming more aware and we have also increased police visibility to ensure better enforcement. We hope things improve in the future and we see lesser casualties,” said Sandeep Khirwar, commissioner of police, Gurgaon.
According to road safety experts, one-third of the accidents take place either on highways or at intersections. The number of fatalities on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is reducing every year, but the number of accidents remains a concern. In the last eight years, 500 people have lost their lives on the highway, half of them pedestrians and motorcyclists.
“Not just enforcement, we also need to identify the high-risk spots on the highway, such as Shankar Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk and the stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza,” said Sewa Ram.