Recorded 646 deaths in 2020: NCRB
Bengaluru ranks third among 53 big cities to have the highest number road accidents, data show.
According to NCRB data, Chennai accounted for 4,389 accidents (9.2 percent) of the 47,289 road accidents in 2020 with 872 deaths; It was closely followed by Delhi, which had 4,028 (8.4 percent) cases and 1,151 deaths. Bengaluru reported 3,233 cases(6.8 percent) and 646 deaths.
Prof. M.N. Sreehari, the Karnataka government’s traffic adviser and transport infrastructure consultant, explained: “With an increasing population in the city, the number of vehicles has crossed the 1 crore mark. The vehicle density in the city is dangerously high. In addition to that, there are a lot of trees alongside roads, so the streetlights do not illuminate the road surface properly. There is construction work going on almost every road that further reduces the road capacity. Another very important factor is the poor condition of the roads. The roads are filled with potholes, making them accident-prone,” he informed The Observer.
Another reason for accidents and deaths is poor traffic management.
Sudastava, a 25-year-old fuel cell engineer who recently met with an accident, said: “It happened onNew BEL Road. I was turning to the right at a junction when a speeding bike that was on the wrong side of the road, rammed my car. There were no traffic cops at the junction at the time, just a signal.”
Mohammad Irshad, 24, a businessman, shared his experience of a road accident: “It happened on Langford Road. A speeding car that was driving on the right side of the road bumped our vehicle with heavy force. There were no signals or cops at the point where the accident happened. Had there been a signal, maybe we could have avoided the accident.”
Yelahanka, Peenya and K.R. Puram are among the most accident-prone areas in the city.
Dr Prabhakar V, a doctor at Sri Venkateswara Hospital, Peenya, said: “We get road accident cases every other day. Mostly they are minor fractures and injuries.”Sometimes the situation is more severe, with people suffering traumatic brain disease, paralysis or spinal cord injury. “Sometimes these conditions get very serious and could lead to fatality.”
Prof. Sreehari added: “It is very easy to get a driving licence in the city. You can do so just by completing a 10-day-training course. This is very dangerous as these drivers are not road experts on the road yet.”
Bengaluru ranks among the most congested cities globally. A report by TomTom Traffic Index said Mumbai ranked second and Bengaluru sixth in traffic congestion among 416 cities across 56 countries. Delhi was eighth and Pune 16th, according to the study carried after the unlocking of cities.
Traffic congestion makes road accidents more prevalent in the city.
In October 2021, The Times of India reported that BBMP had failed to meet its promise to pay compensation for deaths or injuries because of potholes and bad roads in the past seven months.