BENGALURU: CARS may constitute only 19 per cent of the total number of vehicles in Bengaluru, but road accidents involving them topped the number of cases reported in the city between 2013 and 2015, according to traffic police records.
Records show cars were involved in 5,652 of the total 15,062 accidents recorded in the city in the three-year period. This is followed by two-wheelers (4,105 cases) and lorries (1,525).
The city continues to be unsafe for bikers as well, as 476 riders were killed in accidents in three years. This is followed by 364 people who lost their lives due to car accidents and as many as 338 were killed in accidents involving lorries in the city between 2013 and 2015.
The city is home to over 60 lakh vehicles, including over 40 lakh two-wheelers and 10 lakh cars.
Experts say pedestrians, cyclists and two-wheeler riders are more vulnerable to accidents than those travelling in cars.
Roshan Toshniwal, a senior project associate at the World Resources Institute, which focuses on transport issues, said two-wheelers are more susceptible to accidents. “Our roads are not well designed, posing a risk to two-wheelers being ridden at high speeds.”
He said two-wheeler manufacturers lay less emphasis on safety and their focus is primarily on mileage and speed.
“Two-wheeler fatality is primarily due to slipping while weaving or negotiating through traffic and because of the handles coming in contact with other vehicles, which results in them losing balance. Like how cars have an airbag when the vehicle’s bumper hits an object with high impact,two-wheelers also require a safety net when it leans beyond a certain angle while riding,” he said.
When contacted, a senior traffic police official said the number of two-wheelers in the city is more than the number of cars, which could be the reason for the increasing fatalities among two-wheeler users.
“The total number of accidents in the city is coming down because of the enforcement drives. We are also taking stringent action against violations including over-speeding, riding without helmet and driving without a seat belt,” said a senior police officer.
He said the number of accidents has reduced from 5,230 in 2013 to 5,004 in 2014 and 4,828 in 2015. “The number of fatalities will dip further once the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016 comes to effect”.
M N Srihari, traffic expert and adviser to the government, said the survival rate of a two-wheeler rider is less compared to those travelling in a car in times of an accident. “The authorities should also take stringent action against traffic offenders,” he said.