Kerala

Significant decline in road-accidents, fatalities in Kerala in 2021, vis a vis 2019

There was a 30.70% decrease in number of road-accident fatalities and a 24.10% decrease in number of accidents in the January-June 2021 period, vis a vis the corresponding period in 2019, due to what road-safety stakeholders termed as a combination of stepped-up enforcement and awareness initiatives   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

There was a 30.70% decrease in number of road-accident fatalities and a 24.10% decrease in number of accidents in the January-June 2021 period, vis a vis the corresponding period in 2019, due to what road-safety stakeholders termed as a combination of stepped-up enforcement and awareness initiatives.

The number of deaths declined from 2,482 in the corresponding period of 2019 to 1,719 in 2021, while the number of accidents fell from 21,478 to 16,312.

"A much steeper decline of 40.30 % fatalities and 33.10 % accidents that was recorded in 2020 is significant, but for the fact that the pandemic-induced lockdown and containment measures were in vogue for extended durations. But the fact that the life of about 1,500 road users could be saved in 2020, is still an indication that both accidents and fatalities can be considerably reduced in Kerala through concerted action," said T. Elangovan, Executive Director, Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA).

Lowering pedestrian fatality

In addition, stepped-up awareness campaigns and augmenting of pedestrian infra helped rein in the pedestrian-mortality rate which was approximately 28% till 2018, to 23% in the 2019-2021 period.

Mr. Elangovan attributed this to a task force being constituted under KRSA and clear directives issued by the Supreme Court and High Court of Kerala to ensure that footpaths and road shoulders are kept free of encroachments, vehicles, debris, weeds and advertisement/display boards. "The stepped-up enforcement by MVD as part of Safe Kerala Project, and by the police too helped rein in accidents."

Aimed at further bringing down accidents and fatalities, enforcement agencies have intensified removal of obstructions that create blind spots at junctions and other places. "Accident-prevention measures are on the anvil in front of 50 educational institutions located along highways and smaller roads, and at black-spots that have been identified across the State," a high-ranking MVD official said.

Mr. Elangovan said that a total of 238 high-risk black spots and 102 medium-risk ones have been identified in Kerala. "Funds have been sanctioned to take preventive measures like painting road markings, installing reflectors and warning boards and setting up of street lights, in spots where land acquisition is not needed. Land will be acquired for widening narrow, accident-prone junctions and other vulnerable areas."


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 4:05:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/significant-decline-in-road-accidents-fatalities-in-kerala-in-2021-vis-a-vis-2019/article35605171.ece

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