Prelims level : Infrastructure Road, Inland, Railway Aviation, Housing, Rural & Urban Mains level : GS-II Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
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Why in News?

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways recently released the annual report on road accidents in India.

What does the Report Say?

  • More than 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road crashes in the country in 2018, registering an increase of 2.4% as compared to the year before, when there were 1.47 lakh fatalities.
  • It shows a daily average of 1,280 road crashes and 415 deaths which is 53 crashes and the loss of 17 lives every hour.
  • Road traffic injuries constitute the eighth leading cause of deaths in India in 2018.
  • Geneva-based World Road Federation’s World Road Statistics 2018 says India is the most unsafe country in the world for road users across 199 countries. It’s followed by China (63,000 deaths) and the U.S. (37,000 deaths).
  • The annual report also reveals that of the total people killed in road crash deaths in 2018, 48% were between 18 years and 35 years old. Minors involved in road crash deaths were at 6.6% of the total deaths.
  • Among the States, Tamil Nadu (13.7%) topped the country in terms of the total number of road crashes, followed by Madhya Pradesh (11%) and Uttar Pradesh (9.1%).
  • The highest road fatalities were observed In Uttar Pradesh (22,256) followed by Maharashtra (13,261) and Tamil Nadu (12,216).

What is the Cause for Accidents?

  • Over-speeding is a major cause, accounting for 64.4% of the persons killed.
  • This category was followed by driving on the wrong side of the road, which accounted for 5.8% of the accident related deaths.
  • Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths and drunken driving accounted for 2.8% of the persons killed.

What is the Cause for Death?

  • Not wearing helmets and seat belts are not causes of crashes, but are critical for avoiding grievous injuries and fatalities.
  • As many as 43,614 deaths or 28.8% of total road accident deaths in the country last year were caused due to “non-wearing of helmets”.
  • “Non-wearing of seat belts” was linked to 24,435 deaths or 16.1% of total road accident deaths in the country.

What do Experts Say?

  • Lot of States have opposed the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act or have reduced the fines are amongst the States with the highest road crash fatalities.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand were among the States that heavily slashed the penalties levied under the amended law.
  • The latest data highlights the urgent need on part of the States to implement key road safety provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019
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