Pedestrians continue to bear the brunt of rash driving in the country as nearly 73,000 pedestrians lost their lives in the country in road accidents in the last four years. What is more worrisome that despite the government’s efforts, the number has seen a steady rise in the last four years, rising from nearly 14,000 deaths in 2015 to over 22,500 deaths in 2018, according to the latest data given by transport minister Nitin Gadkari in Parliament.
According to the information given by the government in the Rajya Sabha, 13,894 pedestrians lost their lives in road accidents in 2015, the next year the number rose to 15,746 in 2016, an increase of over 13%. Similarly, the number of pedestrians killed in road accidents increased from 15,746 in 2016 to 20,457 next year, a sharp increase of 30%.
Seven states – West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – alone account for more than half of the total deaths.
And the worrisome trend continued last year as well despite several measures taken by the government to improve the situation. The measures taken by the government included the construction of footpaths, foot over bridges and other pedestrian facilities including grade-separated structures. However, these measures failed to have the desired impact in reducing the number of deaths of pedestrians in road accidents.
In 2018, the number of pedestrians killed in road accidents increased to 22,656, an increase of 11% in comparison with the number of such deaths in 2017.
Seven states, West Bengal (2618), Maharashtra (2515), Andhra Pradesh (1569), Karnataka (1519), Madhya Pradesh (1504), Rajasthan (1448) and Uttar Pradesh (1366) alone account for more than half the deaths. 12,539 pedestrians were killed last year in these 7 states alone which is more than 55% of total deaths of pedestrians in the country in road accidents in 2018.
These seven states are followed by three other states that all have reported more than 1,000 deaths of pedestrians in road accidents last year. 1,250 pedestrians lost their lives in road accidents in Kerala, followed by Gujarat (1,170) and Telangana (1,093) deaths.
In national capital Delhi, 420 pedestrians were killed in road accidents last year.