WEH, EEH are high-risk corridors of Mumbai, says report
According to the Mumbai Road Safety Annual Report – 2018, the western and eastern express highways remain the highest risk corridors in the city, but the western express highway (WEH) has seen fewer fatalities as compared to 2017. The report also found that 82% of victims of fatal accidents in the city belonged to the 20-24 years age group.
Compiled by Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety in partnership with a number of agencies including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai traffic police, the Mumbai Road Safety Annual Report was released on Thursday. Analysing data from all across Mumbai, the report found a 22% reduction in the number of deaths since 2015, when the first such report was compiled. The drop is attributed to infrastructural work on roads (which forces vehicles to drive at lower speeds) and initiatives adopted by the traffic police to make certain stretches pedestrian-friendly.
Analysing death and injury data, the report concluded that the maximum number of fatal accidents occurred on the WEH, followed by the eastern express highway (EEH). Three- and four-wheelers caused 49% of the fatalities. Most fatal accidents take place between 8pm and 9pm on weekdays and between 2am and 3am on weekends. “Mumbai needs street designs which are tailored to save lives,” said Kelly Larson, director of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Most victims of fatalities are pedestrians (51%), indicating that despite the growing number of vehicles in Mumbai, the city remains predominantly pedestrian.
Among city pedestrians who are victims of fatalities, the most vulnerable are those aged between 60 to 74 years. After pedestrians, motorcycle drivers (28%) and pillion riders (13%) accounted for the most deaths in road accidents. The largest proportion of road crash deaths was among young men aged between 20 to 29.
WEH and EEH were the highest risk locations in Mumbai in 2018, with 52 deaths on the WEH and 34 on the EEH. The numbers show a marginal improvement from 2017 when there were 75 deaths on the WEH and 53 deaths on the EEH from road crashes. In 2018, the third most risky location was Swami Vivekanand Road (SV Road) with 16 deaths.
Among the efforts to improve road safety in the city, are initiatives like the pilot project to make 10km of the 20-km Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Marg pedestrian-friendly. “We focused on footpath continuity, refuge island designed ramps etc, to ensure pedestrians use those footpaths and do not spill onto the road, increasing accidents,” said Dhawal Ashar of the research organisation, WRI India . Ashar said that allocation of space, management of crossings and management of speed of roads are essential to decrease fatalities.