1.51 lakh died in road crashes in 2019: Transport ministry

NEW DELHI: The road transport ministry on Saturday told the Rajya Sabha that there was a minor decline in road fatalities during 2019. It also said 71% of the crashes were due to speeding.

In a written reply, MoS General V K Singh informed Lok Sabha that 1,51,113 persons had died in 2019 as compared to 1,51,417, which is a decline of merely 307 fatalities. The ministry has also said 3.19 lakh out of total 4.49 lakh accidents were caused due to speeding.

In another reply to question whether the government has taken cognizance of the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated road traffic fatalities as 2.99 lakh in India during 2016, the ministry said the estimates of WHO do not indicate the actual number of fatalities due to road accidents as their estimates are based on statistical projection and several other factors.

"Some of the factors are total population of the country, total number of vehicles per 1000 person, total roads (km) per 1000 hectares, maximum national speed limit on rural and urban roads (km/hour), health system access available, alcohol apparent consumption, working population, percentage of total vehicles that are motorbikes, control of corruption index, existence of national policies that encourage walking and /or cycling, etc," it said.
The ministry has also informed that the government has been identifying block spots on NHs since 2011.

Based on fatalities during the 2011 to 2014 and 2015 to 2018, the ministry has identified 789 and 5,476 black spots, respectively.
It said, "Road accident black spot is a stretch of National Highway of about 500 meter in length in which five road accidents took place during the last three calendar years resulting in 10 fatalities."
The ministry said detailed guidelines for taking up road safety audits on NHs have been prepared and notified.

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