Three roads accounted for 20% of all accident deaths last year: Report
Fourteen of the top 20 black spots in the city last year were located on the Outer Ring Road, Ring Road and GT Karnal Road – the three roads together accounting for 20% of all road accident deaths in the national capital.
According to an annual report released by the Delhi Traffic Police, these three roads together witnessed 294 deaths in 2019, a year when road accident deaths in Delhi actually fell to a 30-year low of 1,463 — a 13.4% decrease from the previous year.
While speed-reduction techniques led to some black spots seeing a significant reduction in fatalities from 2018 to 2019, a few others continued to report large number of deaths.
Black spots are accident prone zones in a diameter of 500 metres. The Delhi Traffic Police usually considers an area as a black spot if it witnesses three or more fatalities or 10 or more accidents in a year.
MUKUNDPUR CHOWK WORST
Last year, Mukundpur Chowk — located on the Outer Ring Road — topped the list of black spots with 11 fatalities, followed by Nirankari Colony on the same stretch, which had nine deaths. Three other spots – Mukarba Chowk, Azadpur Sabzi Mandi and Signature Bridge in Timarpur – also featured in the top five list with eight deaths each.
In their analysis of fatal accidents at these five spots, the traffic police cited high speed of vehicles as the primary reason and noted that pedestrians and two-wheeler riders accounted for most of the casualties. Overall too, pedestrians and motorcycle riders accounted for 46% and 34% of all road accidents deaths in Delhi last year.
The list of black spots over the two years has seen some changes. Some spots such as ISBT Kashmere Gate, Kashmere Gate Chowk Boulevard Road and Bhalswa Chowk, for example, have seen a significant reduction in fatalities after ranking among the top three dangerous spots in 2018.
The number of deaths in ISBT Kashmere Gate, for example, reduced from 10 to five and Kashmere Gate Chowk Boulevard Road dipped from nine to three last year.
SPEED CALMING MEASURES HELPED
Sewa Ram, the coordinator of Centre for Road Safety at the School of Planning and Architecture attributed the dip in ISBT Kashmere Gate and Kashmere Gate Chowk Boulevard Road to a host of speed reduction measures.
“In Kashmere Gate, for example, transfer bench mark (white speed breakers) of a height of 5-15 mm have been set up to reduce the speed of vehicles, without being a danger for motorcycle riders,” said Sewa Ram.
Taj Hassan, special commissioner of police (traffic), said that the traffic police have been constantly coordinating with civic agencies to improve the road engineering and enforce speed calming measures, among others. “That is one of the reasons we have had the lowest number of accidents and deaths in the last 30 years,” said Hassan.
On the other hand, spots such as Mukundpur Chowk and Mukarba Chowk have continued to report high number of fatalities. Mukundpur Chowk, which topped the list of black spots, witnessed 11 deaths in 2019, compared to eight in the previous year.
Sewa Ram said that the continuing high fatalities at these stretches were due to faulty road designs leading to speeding and subsequent accidents.
“At Mukundpur Chowk, there is no arrangement to stop vehicles driving down from flyovers to collide with slower vehicles merging from an access road. The design here is such that the view of drivers is obstructed and there is an absence of traffic calming measures over the years,” said Sewa Ram.
Hassan, the traffic police chief agreed and added that conflicts between fast moving vehicles and pedestrians on some of these stretches were an important factor for the high rate of deaths.
“These are high speed corridors where pedestrians from populated neighbourhoods of both sides frequently have to cross the dangerous roads in the absence of sufficient subways and footover-bridges,” said Hassan.
SAFEST ROADS IN THREE DECADES
Apart from reporting the lowest fatalities, last year also turned out to be the safest for motorists and pedestrians on Delhi roads in the last three decades. The 5,610 accidents reported in the city in 2019 were 13.9% lesser than the previous year.
But despite low death count, the accident severity (deaths per 100 accidents) was at 26.07% in 2019, marginally higher than 25.94% in the previous year.
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