PATNA: Altogether 7,205 people, including 1,181 women, were killed in road accidents across the state in 2019, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2019 released on August 31.
During the same period (January-December) in 2018, the number of road fatalities was 6,729. The 2019 figure is a 7% rise over the previous year’s road deaths. The number of road mishaps also went up by 4.2%.
In terms of the total number of road accidents, Bihar recorded 10,007 cases in 2019 while the figure was 9,600 in 2018.
State transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told this newspaper on Wednesday that there has been a declining trend in the past four quarters from June 2019 to June 2020.
“The growth rate in road fatalities, which was around 7% in 2019, was 20% in 2018. So, there is a positive side that the rate has declined. This year, we have seen a sharp decline and are expecting that the next year’s data would be encouraging,” Agarwal said.
He added, “From January to June (2019), 5,482 accidents occurred and 3,997 people died while the declining trend started from July to December (2019), during which 4,497 accidents happened, and 3,158 people died.”
Agarwal said most road accidents involve two-wheelers, the overall average is the same in the country. “In other modes of transportation, like car, autos, bus and truck, people are covered, but in a motorbike, people have more chances of injuries which leads to death. Most people also don’t wear a helmet. Helmet coverage in Bihar is the major reason behind the decline in road accidents,” he said.
“In Patna, we have achieved 98% helmet coverage from 70% about a year ago while in other districts, the helmet coverage is almost 70- 80% from 25%. In every district, we conduct helmet and seat-belt drives. The department also keeps a record of offenders and defaulters punished. It is also the reason for the decline in the number of road accidents and deaths in Bihar,” the transport secretary further said.
According to the latest data of the state transport department, Bihar has seen a significant reduction in road fatalities in the first quarter in 2020. Altogether 1,777 deaths occurred in the state in 2,342 accidents whereas 1,836 fatalities and 2,563 accidents occurred last year.
A total of 878 road accidents occurred in the state during the lockdown, in which 637 people died, and 674 suffered injuries whereas 2,062 accidents and 1,535 deaths occurred in the state between March 24 and May 31 in 2019.
Agarwal said there is a total of 120 black spots in Bihar, with the help of road safety engineering, they are trying to reduce accidents and deaths. “Foot over-bridges and underpasses are being constructed on all national highways and state highways across the state. New roads already have underpasses,” he added.Source: Times of India