BENGALURU: The city recorded the lowest number of road accidents and fatalities in 2014, according to a report released by Bengaluru traffic police on Thursday.
Traffic experts say the fall in accidents is due to the large increase in number of vehicles, which has slowed down traffic on city roads.
“There was a time when vehicles could travel at a speed of 25-40 kms per hour. But now, it has reduced to nine km per hour in the heart of the city. The higher the speed, the more the impact,” Prof M N Sreehari, a traffic expert, said.
According to the report, 729 people died in 703 fatal accidents while 4,098 were injured in 4,301 non-fatal accidents last year, which is the lowest since 2005.
“Despite an increase in number of vehicles, expansion in city area and shortage of traffic staff, the number of accidents and fatalities has come down,” B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic), told reporters.
Though the number of vehicles more than doubled from 24.67 lakh in 2005 to 53.92 lakh in 2014, accidents came down drastically from 7,578 to 5,004 during the period.
Dayananda attributed the decline to traffic enforcement measures.
He said the traffic police registered 74.36 lakh cases of drunk driving, traffic signal jumping, reckless driving, riding without helmet and driving/riding while talking on phones, and collected `65.92 crore in fines. The year before, they had registered 54 lakh cases and collected `57 crore in fines.
The report said pedestrians and two-wheelers were more vulnerable to accidents. Of the 729 fatal cases, 331 were pedestrians and 332 were on bikes or pillion. Two-wheelers were involved in 1,420 cases out of a total 5,004. Police cancelled 16,194 driving licences, and seized 497 registration certificate books for traffic violations. Dayananda said after an analysis of the accident statistics of 2011, 2012 and 2013, the traffic police identified 10 hot spots, where 38 per cent of the accidents occurred.
The hot spots include Old Madras Road, Hosur Road, Outer Ring Road at Nagarbhavi and Old Airport Road.
“In consultation with traffic experts and civic agencies like BBMP and BDA, we made some modifications, including in engineering works, which led to a reduction in the number of accidents,” he said.
Dayananda said they proposed to make wearing helmet compulsory for pillion riders, which will reduce the number of fatal incidents. “If the roads in city are good, the number of accidents can be reduced. BBMP authorities have informed us that they are taking up asphalting and repair of major arterial and sub-arterial roads,” he said.