CHENNAI: Data annually furnished by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRBs) is full of holes, says an expert committee constituted by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). After noticing massive discrepancies, the ministry has proposed a simplified uniform new accident reporting format to be adopted by all states and UTs.
For example, though the NCRB data pegs pedestrian deaths at 9%, a detailed study reveals it is actually 30-40% in some big states and is as high as 65% in Mumbai. The expert committee headed by Kirti Saxena, senior adviser of Transport Research Wing of the ministry, has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the new accident reporting form.
Speaking to Express on sidelines of the zonal workshop organised at IIT Madras to introduce the new format among the stakeholders, Geetam Tiwari, member of the expert committee and professor at IIT Delhi, said: “To establish the inconsistencies in the current data, we did an analysis of FIR copies of the past three years in six cities, including Vishakapatnam, Agra, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bhopal and Vadodara.
What we found was alarming. Pedestrian death was between 30-40%, while NCRB says just 9%. This means the police are recording the accidents correctly, but while reporting there is lot of underplay for various reasons. The new format will fill in the gaps in the reporting,” she said.
Also, due to limited technical understanding, the police personnel recording the data are not able to recognise the role of road engineering defects, the nature of impacting vehicles and other such technical details that may have caused the accident. As a result, these aspects that are so vital for ensuring road safety, remain unreported or under reported.
The new format, which comes with 55 questions under five different heads is designed to capture all relevant information like accident identification/location, road condition, vehicles involved and victim details. It also seeks the GPS location of the spot and if victim is a pedestrian, the police have to fill details on whether there is a footpath, zebra crossing or subway.
This gives a sense of local road safety infrastructure and over a period of time draws pattern and allows authorities to take corrective measures.
Tamil Nadu has the dubious distinction of recording the highest road accidents, fatality and the injuries. At least, 22 people die in every one million population annually in road accidents in the State. The national average is 12.
Ranjan Mukherjee, consultant, Transport Research Wing, told Express that 13 states contribute to 87% of the total accidents and fatalities. These states are projected to be progressive and known for good and broader roads without adequate safety measures. “We have already requested the states to adopt the new format. However, some fine tuning is needed, which is currently being done based,” he said.
K Jayanth Murali, ADGP of State Traffic Planning Cell, is one of the members of the expert committee.
States with highest number of road accidents in 2015
State No. of accidents
Tamil Nadu 69,059
Madhya Pradesh 54,947
States with highest fatalities
State No. of
Uttar Pradesh 17,666
Tamil Nadu 15,642
States with highest number of injuries in road accidents
State No. of
Tamil Nadu 79,746
Madhya Pradesh 55,815