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Delhi sees 4% rise in fatal road accidents in 5 years

Aug 07, 2023 04:56 AM IST

The data collated between 2019 and 2023 so far has led traffic police to increase preventive measures.

There have been more fatal accidents at night till July 15 this year than there were in 2019 on average, Delhi Traffic Police officials said, citing their data, which shows that the city’s roads may be becoming slightly riskier even in the case of crashes that do not involve a death.

Traffic experts attribute drink driving, high speed of commercial vehicles and lesser presence of traffic personnel during nights as the main reasons behind the increase in fatal road accidents during the night. (ANI)

Overall, 58% of the fatal crashes took place during the night, while in 2019, this number was 54%.

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This shift in pattern, experts said, could be due to more drink driving, speeding commercial vehicles, and a reduction in police deployment.

Till July 15, a total of 3,533 accidents took place in the city, both simple and fatal. Of these, 1,582 occurred during the night and 1,951 in the day. Traffic police data, shared on Friday last week , stated that 691 of the total accidents were fatal, of which 400 (58%) occurred in the night. Fatal accidents during the daytime accounted for 42% of the total accidents till July 15, an analysis of the data showed.

In 2019 (pre-pandemic year), the city reported 1,433 fatal road accidents, of which 54% or 777 such mishaps took place during the night, while the daytime fatal accidents stood at 656. The data for 2019 till July 15 was not readily available, traffic police said.

The data collated between 2019 and 2023 so far has led traffic police to increase preventive measures, including identifying accident-prone stretches, increasing deployment of traffic personnel, and prosecuting motorists.

“If we analyse the fatal road accident data of 2019 and 2023, it shows that the contribution of such accidents during night hours has increased by at least 4% in the past five years, while similar incidents during the day declined by almost the same margin,” said special commissioner of police (traffic) Surender Singh Yadav.

Traffic experts attribute drink driving, high speed of commercial vehicles and lesser presence of traffic personnel during nights as the main reasons behind the increase in fatal road accidents during the night.

As far as simple accidents (in which only injuries or no injuries were caused) are concerned, 2,842 such accidents took place till July 15 this year, out of which 1,182 — 42% — took place at night. Of the 4,177 simple accidents in 2019, 2,497 took place during the daytime, which was nearly 60% of all simple accidents, the data shows.

While comparing figures of fatal accidents of 2019 with 2022 (2020 and 2021 were pandemic years when large-scale shutdowns were in place), a slight change in the trend emerged. In 2019, there were 656 fatalities during the day and 777 during the night, while in 2022, the numbers were 622 and 806, respectively, meaning deaths in road accidents decreased during the day in 2022, while the numbers for the same increased at night.

“It showed a direct correlation between visible and effective police presence during the day. It also reflects that the speed of vehicles remains higher at night. To tackle this trend, the Delhi traffic police have adopted a systematic approach with the aim to eliminate all traffic related fatalities and severe injuries. Through collaboration with relevant stakeholders, extensive public awareness campaigns, and continuous data monitoring, we are resolute in achieving our goal of Vision Zero, thereby ensuring the utmost protection and well-being of every individual navigating the streets of Delhi,” added Yadav.

Retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Muktesh Chander, who served as special commissioner of police (Delhi Traffic Police) between 2015 and 2016, said that post the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, action against drink driving has been minimal, as use of alcometers was suspended.

“Apart from resuming similar surprise checking, deployment of traffic personnel and prosecution of violators should be increased to deal with speeding vehicles during night hours,” said Chander.

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