Around 5,489 black spots across the national highway network were identified between 2015 to December 2019 with Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh having the biggest share of such highly dangerous stretches.
Stretches of NH of about 500 metres where at least five road accidents have taken place during the last three calendar years resulting in 10 fatalities are designated as road accident black spots.
Among all states, Tamil Nadu had the maximum of 748 black spots and Delhi had the highest number of 113 such stretches among all the Union Territories.
The details provided by 31 states and UTs to the Centre has also some unconvincing data such as Maharashtra with only 25 black spots on NHs, Haryana with barely 23 and numbering only 92 in Bihar.
“The state police provide the data and there is a high possibility of some inaccuracies. For example, on ground verification in some states revealed that at least 380 blackspots identified by police are not on NHs. There is a need to collect robust data rather than just relying on the FIRs,” said a road transport and highways ministry official.
The ministry has been compiling this data since 2011. Based on fatalities during 2011 to 2014, the first list of 789 blackspots was prepared and corrective measures were taken.
“Identification and mitigation of such stretches are a continuous process and it’s a priority for us. We are rectifying the stretches, which is the reactive approach, and under proactive approach the entire corridor is being assessed as a unit for carrying out road safety audits,” another official said.
The transport ministry on September 19 had told the Rajya Sabha that the ministry has prepared and notified the norms for road safety audit.
“The ministry has issued a circular which makes it mandatory to carry out road safety audit for all new road projects having length of 5 km or more at the stage of Detail Project Report and engineering design,” it had said.