RANCHI: Jharkhand witnessed a 70% reduction in road accidents during the lockdown period between March and May this year, the data compiled by the road safety wing of the state transport department has revealed.
Between March 24, when the nationwide lockdown came into force, and May 31, a total of 304 accidents were recorded in which 211 persons died and 227 others sustained injuries. During the same corresponding period in 2019, a total of 970 accidents were reported and 701 persons died while 683 others suffered injuries of different degrees. The road safety wing has recently sent these quarterly figures to the Supreme Court-appointed road safety committee, which maintains a nationwide database, provides advisories and prescribes action plans for corrective measures.
As per the last assessment by the transport department, 90 black spots exist across the state. A departmental source said, “Majority of the accidents recorded during the lockdown period are around those black spots be it in Ramgarh’s Chuttpalu valley or in Bundu on the Ranchi-Tata stretch of NH-33.”
R S Vidhyarthi, joint secretary of the state transport department (road safety), however, said detailed analysis of all the accidents during the lockdown period is underway, but conceded that many may have occurred around the notified black spots. He said, “We can’t completely rule out the role of notified black spots in accidents during the lockdown period.”
According to Vidhyarthi, one of the biggest reasons behind the drastic fall in road accidents is because the vehicles are off the roads during the lockdown. “But as the essential services were out of the ambit, heavy vehicles carrying essential goods ply and suffered accidents due to carelessness, lack of know-how about a particular area’s topography, over-speeding because of the empty roads and so on,” he said, adding that the department is currently in the process of re-notifying the black spots afresh.
He said, “A stretch is usually notified as black spot based on its accident history of the past three consecutive years. Thereafter, corrective measures are taken in that stretch to minimise mishaps. In 2017, there were 146 black spots, which came down to 90 in 2018. For 2019, we are expecting to notify them in a week to 10 days from now. We are hoping that the black spots will be reduced as the department through different stakeholders has been working for the last three years to create awareness and take corrective steps like putting up signage and improving the condition of roads.”Source: Times of India