Nagpur: The Highways coming under the jurisdiction of Highway Police, Nagpur Region, are proving to be graveyards as a total of 4984 persons were killed in 6036 road mishaps in the past four years. The casualties include 10 police personnel. This information was revealed in an RTI reply.
According to the statistics provided to the activist Abhay Kolarkar in response to his query under Right to Information Act, a total of 6036 road accidents were reported in the period from 2017 to 2020. The maximum mishaps – 1910 — occurred in the year 2017. However, the most number of fatalities were reported in the year 2020. In the 1290 road accidents, a total of 1654 persons lost their lives in 2020.
The jurisdiction of Highway Police, Nagpur Region, is spread over Nagpur District, Nanded, Buldhana, Gondia, and Latur districts. Jawans og Highway Police are deployed on National and State Highways to control the vehicular traffic. The strength of Highway Police consists of one Superintendent, one Deputy Superintendent, two Inspectors, 31 Police Sub-Inspectors, 23 Assistant Police Sub-Inspectors, 86 constables and 290 jawans. The force is equipped with 37 four-wheelers, 23 two-wheelers and an ambulance.
India on top of list:
India has been on the top of list of countries with the highest road fatalities since 2009. One in every 11 road deaths globally occur on Indian roads. A rapid rise in car registrations — India ranks 5th globally and added almost three million new cars registered in 2019 — and a road network, spanning over six million kilometers makes it one of the busiest countries in terms of road traffic.
In 2019, India reported a total of 449,002 road accidents of which 151,113 were fatal and 451,361 had injuries, says the recently released government Road Accident in India 2019 report. In percentage terms there was a decline in all three though a marginal one — there were 3.86% fewer accidents in 2019, .20% fewer fatalities and 3.85% fewer injuries — some of it is attributed to the new Motor Vehicles Act which came into effect in September 2019. However, road accident severity measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents increased 1.3 percentage points in 2019 over the previous year.
Speeding continues to be the biggest reason for fatal crashes. In 2019, such fatalities increased to 1.02 lakh compared to 97,588 in 2018. However, nearly 30% of the total 1.5 lakh deaths in road accidents in 2019 were due to not wearing helmets and another 16% of fatalities were on account of not wearing seatbelts.
Of the 56,136 two-wheeler riders who were killed last year, 44,666 were found riding without helmets. Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states in this category with 7,069 deaths, followed by Maharashtra (5,328) and Madhya Pradesh (3,813).
Use of mobile phones while driving caused a sharp rise in fatalities in road crashes — they were up by nearly 33% in 2019 as compared to 2018. This is the maximum rise in deaths in percentage terms among all types of violations. Number of deaths in such crashes increased to 4,945 in 2019 with UP leading the list with 2,650 fatalities.