One distinction TN could do without
By J Santosh|Express News Service - CHENNAI
03rd July 2012 07:41 AM
For the second consecutive year, Tamil Nadu has earned the dubious distinction of reporting the highest number of road accidents and fatalities. The Accidental Death and Suicides in India (ADSI 2011) report released by the National Crime Records Bureau reveals that Tamil Nadu has recorded a staggeringly high 65,873 accidents, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country in 2011. Maharashtra, which has the highest vehicle population in the country, recorded a much lesser 47,120 accidents, which is the second highest in the country.
Interestingly, the four major southern states - Tamil Nadu (15 per cent), Kerala (8 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (9.3 per cent) and Karnataka (10.2 per cent) - accounted for 42.5 per cent of the road accidents in the country.
However, senior police officers say that it cannot be conclusively said that TN is the most accident-prone State based on these figures. “We are of the few States that have very systematic manner of reporting accidents. Here we have a Road Accident Data Management System in place and so we have more transparent manner of reporting the actual figures.
Many States don’t have such a system,” says a senior official. However, activists say the latest statistics must serve as a wake up call for the State government. According to the report, out of the total 1,36,834 road accident fatalities 11 per cent (15,422) are reported in TN and most of them are in the productive years. “In 2007, the State government framed a road safety policy with the objective of 20 per cent reduction in fatalities and injuries by 2013 considering 2006 as the base year with the State. But years down the line, the fatalities and injuries are only increasing,” says activist A Narayanan. He says drunken driving plays a major factor for the increasing number of mishaps. It also notes that the State records the highest number of accidents (18 per cent) between 6 pm and 9 pm. Motorbikes are the riskiest mode of transport accounting for 25 per cent of fatalities. Trucks and lorries accounted for 20 per cent fatalities. Around six per cent who lost their lives in road accidents are pedestrians.
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