Maharashtra: 2019 saw 7.4% decline in road accidents

Mumbai: There has been a 7.4 per cent decline in road accidents in Maharashtra in the last 11 months, as per data from the state transport department's road safety cell. The data also indicates that the accident fatalities dropped by 5.2 per cent and the number of injured declined by 8 per centin the past 11 months. Altogether 30,084 accidents were reported in Maharashtra between January and November 2019, in which 11,387 people were killed and 26,428 others injured, the data revealed.

During the same period in 2018, a total of 32,493 road accidentswere reported in the state, in which 12,014 people had died and 28,740 were injured. Although the decline seems to be an encouraging trend, several serious accidents have taken place on state roads in the last few days. On Tuesday night, five persons, including four members of a family, were killed after in a head-on collision between an auto rickshaw and a car at Shekta near Aurangabad.

In another accident, at least 16 people, 15 of them students, were injured when a state transport bus rammed into a tractor at Talegaon Dabhade on the outskirts of Pune city on Wednesday. The road accident data of 34 districts and 10 police commissionerates suggests that accidents in Satara district have gone up by 29 per cent (from 482 last year to 552 this year). While Navi Mumbai has seen a rise of 10 per cent, Jalna comes third with a 7 per cent increase, the data states.

The stats have further revealed that Pune city, Yavatmal and Aurangabad districts (rural) witnessed the highest drop in road accident numbers at 35, 26 and 23 per cent respectively. In case of fatalities, Satara registered a sharp increase of 46 per cent from 191 deaths in 2018, followed by Aurangabad at 25 per cent and Latur at 23 per cent. While Pune city witnessed a 43 per cent drop in road accident deaths, Nandurbar saw a 33 per cent decline.

Thane (rural) and Washim districts came third with 24 per cent drop, the data states. In 2018, the state witnessed a total of 35,717 accidents, in which 13,261 people were killed, 20,335 grievously injured and 11,030 sustained minor wounds. A senior officer of Maharashtra motor vehicles department said their target was to bring down road accidents by 10 per cent in 2019 and so far, the target has been met in at least 15 to 16 districts.

"The road safety cell had asked the respective district road safety committees to take effective safety measures, whenever they notice a spurt in accidents," said the officer, who did not wish to be named. As per the latest accident data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, with 35,717 accidents, Maharashtra ranks fifth in the country, led by Tamil Nadu (63,920), Madhya Pradesh (51,397), Uttar Pradesh (42,568) and Karnataka (41,707). In 2015, India became a signatory to Brasilia Declaration on road safety, where it committed to reduce the number of accidents by 50 per cent.

The state's vehicle population was at 3.3 crore till 2018, including 2.41 crore two-wheelers and 46.32 lakh four- wheelers.

According to a recently published report by the state highway police, around 27 lakh new vehicles were registered in the state in 2018, among these 19.96 lakh were two-wheelers and 3.62 lakh were cars.

To curb road accidents, the state government has formed a dedicated road safety cell, set up a road-safety fund, identified accident-prone spots and formed a state road safety council and district-wide road safety committees.

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