BENGALURU: The number of accidents - both fatal and non-fatal - in the city have touched a five-year high. Bengaluru Traffic Police records show that the number has risen from 4,828 in 2015 to 6,357 in 2016 (till November). This translates to an average of 19 accidents every day this year.
This is the highest number reported in the city since 2011 and the number could see a further spike once data for December is compiled. The number of people killed and injured in road accidents this year so far is 735 and 3,876, respectively. In 2015, 740 people had lost their lives and 4,047 were injured in accidents.
The rise in number of accidents is clearly not because of poor enforcement by Bengaluru Traffic Police given that they have booked a record 83.08 lakh cases against errant motorists this year, which is the highest in the department’s history.
The rise in number of accidents could be due to the increase in vehicles in the city. The city’s vehicular population has increased from 41.56 lakh in 2012 to 65.85 lakh now. Of the 65.85 lakh vehicles, 45.60 lakh are two-wheelers and 12.73 lakh cars.
Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) R Hithendra said, “The main reason for accidents in the city is speeding, rash and negligent driving. Many accidents involving youngsters driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also being reported in the suburbs. We are doing our best to enforce rules and take action against errant motorists. In a city of over 65 lakh vehicles, we have booked 83.08 lakh cases this year so far, which means more than one case per vehicle.”
Experts say the sudden increase in vehicular population, poor condition of roads, rash driving, violation of rules and drunken driving are among the main reasons for the accidents.
Advait Jani, who works with the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP), an NGO, said, “While increasing number of accidents in Bengaluru could be attributed to poor driving skills and lack of knowledge of traffic rules, the decline in fatal accidents may be because motorists drive at slower speeds due to traffic congestion and strict enforcement of helmet rule among two-wheeler riders. When average speed is 5kmph, fatalities will be reduced by 20 per cent.”