Chennai: The number of fatalities in road accidents across the state has gone up by 10%, says a report by the Tamil Nadu police submitted to the secretariat on Thursday. At least 15,642 people were killed in road accidents in 2015, which has gone up to 17,218 in 2016. In the 7,486 accidents reported in Chennai city, at least 1,155 people lost their lives. Kancheepuram is second on the list with 981 deaths on the road, while Villupuram comes third with 840 deaths and Vellore is fourth with 825 deaths.
A senior police officer said, “Many youngsters drive vehicles in a rash and negligent manner leading to accidents. In many cases, youngsters mix drinking and driving.” A research study by the the ministry of road transport and highways and Barclays on the vehicular population in India in 2016 had stated that Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai were the cities with the highest vehicular population. Delhi had the most number of vehicles with around 4.5 crore and Chennai had the second largest vehicular population of 2.33 crore.
The state traffic planning cell is coordinating with the road accident data management system, which falls under the ministry of road, transport and highways, to redo the engineering faults on the city roads, especially highways, after studying road accidents reported on these stretches.
The ‘Global Report on Urban Health’ released by the UN in 2016 said that the number of persons killed per lakh of population in Chennai was the second highest across the major selected cities at 26.6, next to Fortaleza, the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceara. Jaipur ranked fourth and Indore 16th, while Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore occupied 23rd, 24th and 25th positions respectively. Mumbai was in 40th position.
However, the report said progress on road traffic safety was achievable with interventions to reduce speed in urban areas and convenient public transportation. “Today’s Chennai could be tomorrow’s Stockholm,” it said. The Swedish capital reported only 0.7 deaths per one lakh of population. Sweden has set the ambitious target of zero fatalities.
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