Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Accidents in Amritsar most severe: Study

Anilesh S Mahajan TNN
11th December, 2007
Chandigarh: The streets of Amritsar, which give the city an almost medieval feel are the most dangerous in Punjab when it comes to severity of accidental deaths. As per the analysis by TRRIP, IIT Delhi, 863 people die for every 1,000 accidents in the city. Meanwhile, on crash ratio value, six districts of Punjab are above the state’s average of 11.4 crashes per year for 10,000 registered vehicles. Jalandhar (5.9), Amritsar (5.5) and Ferozepur (8.5) follow Faridkot (4.1). Worse among all districts are Fathegarh Sahib (38.5) and Rupnagar (36.3). “This means there is a problem of infrastructure more than anything else,” said Navdeep Asija, scientist at IIT Delhi, who conducted the analysis with the help of Harpreet Kahlon, who runs an NGO here. When it comes to severity of the accidents in the state, Amritsar is followed by Jalandhar (759), Gurdaspur (736) and Mukatsar (731). The study also showed that although their were more accidents in Ludhiana, the severity there was less. “Ludhiana has more vehicles and hence the high number of accidents, but the severity is low,” added Asija. The 2006 accident figures in Punjab were taken into account for the study. It was found that as per the crime records bureau figures, Punjab has the lowest number of accident cases but when it came to severity it was third among all states in the country. Speaking to TOI, Punjab’s IG Traffic HS Dhillon said he is aware of the situation, and doing his bit to improve it. “Most of the accidents in the state take place because of drunk driving and speeding,” he said. “We have finalized the speed graphs for all the roads in the state and would be displaying them soon. Chief secretary has cleared the file for that,” he said. He said that the matter of constituting the Punjab safety council was pending with the government. Scientists recommend The scientists have recommended that the state should have its own online road crash database management system, where scientifically collected traffic and road crash data at the level of various administrative units is available. Punjab government should also ensure the implementation of road safety audits on all upcoming and existing roads in the state. There should be special focus on improving road safety measures and increasing traffic awareness among drivers. Also there should be better medical facilities in case accidents do take place. Cranes and ambulances should be easily available. Special steps should be taken to decrease the speed of vehicles in districts with high crash severity like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur and Muktsar.

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