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2.2 lakh road traffic deaths in India in 2017: ICMR study

ANI  |  General News 

As many as 2.2 lakh road injury deaths occurred in India in 2017, out of which 77 percent were males which were three times higher as compared to female deaths, revealed the study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday.

The apex medical research body and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) released a first detailed study on road injury deaths by type of road users in each state of India. The findings are published in The Lancet Public Health.

The data included the death rate of pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and motor vehicle occupants which varied four to eightfold between the states of India, highlighting the need for specific road safety planning in each state.

Experts have opined for evidence-based road safety interventions, multi-sectoral approaches, stronger law enforcement, and the ability of the health system to deal with injuries that need to be strengthened across India.

The findings of the study pointed out that the motorcyclist and cyclist road injury death rate was 69 per cent and 33 percent respectively which is higher in India as compared to the global average.

Pedestrian road injury deaths were highest among older adults in India, it stated.

The lead author of the study Prof Rakhi Dandona, Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India said, "India had 2.2 lakh deaths due to road injuries in 2017. Rapid urbanisation and economic growth in India have led to an increase in vehicle and traffic but the infrastructure levels are still struggling to keep pace with it, resulting in an increased number of road injury deaths."

Talking to ANI, Prof Vinod K Paul, a member at NITI Aayog said, "Road injury highly impacts economic and societal burden. Deaths from road injuries are preventable with stringent implementation of laws and policies by the government. If the estimated trends of road injury deaths up to 2017 continue, no state in India is likely to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2020 target of reducing the road injury deaths by half from 2015 to 2020 or even by 2030. A much higher death rate reduction is needed to meet the SDG target."

"We found in that study that Road Injury death rate in males varied threefold across the states of India with the highest rates in the states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh. The variations between the states for road injury death rates among the different types of road users were even higher at four to eight folds," said Prof Balram Bhargav, Director General, ICMR.

The highest road injury death rates among females were in the states of Manipur, Jharkhand, and Punjab, he added.

Experts involved in the study called for more attention to reduce the vulnerable road user injury deaths (pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists) in India. They said that the recent enactment of the Motor Vehicle Act 2019 that imposes strict penalties against traffic violations which will keep better monitoring of road injury events.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 23 2019. 19:05 IST
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