Nearly three persons died every ten minutes in road accidents across India last year, a yet to be published official report revealed, a grave reminder of abysmal road safety standards in the country.
The report, which is being prepared by the Transport Research Wing of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, also discovered that a total of 4,64,910 road accidents were reported by states and union territories in the calendar year 2017, claiming 1,47,913 lives and causing injuries to 4,70,975 persons.
The subject of road safety is an important one and there is a delay in the passage of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016, which proposes hefty penalties ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 100,000. State governments can even increase the fine up to 10 times.
Victims of hit-and-run cases would now be compensated for up to Rs one million in case of road accident fatalities.
Among vehicle categories involved in road accidents, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share (33.9%) in total accidents and fatalities (29.8%) in 2017, said the report which is under publication and is expected to be released by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
However, there has been a decline in the total number of road accidents as compared with the year 2016. In percentage terms, the number of accidents in 2017 was lower by 3.3 per cent and injuries by 4.8 per cent over that of the previous year.
Similarly, the number of persons killed in road accidents during 2017 was less than that of 2016 by 1.9 per cent.
Road accident severity measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents, however, saw a marginal increase of 0.4 percentage points in 2017 over the previous year.
In terms of accidents on road categories, the national highways accounted for 30.4 per cent of total road accidents and 36 per cent of deaths in 2017. Accidents on state highways and other roads constituted 25 per cent and 44.6 per cent respectively.
In case of fatality, state highways and other roads accounted for 26.9 per cent and 37.1 per cent, respectively.
Light vehicles comprising cars, jeeps and taxis as a category constituted 24.5 per cent in total accidents and 21.1 per cent in total fatalities, according to the report.