PUNE The total number of road accidents related to deaths involving two-wheeler riders and pillions in Pune, has reduced in 2020, compared to 2019.
As many as 143 two-wheeler and pillion riders lost their lives in 2020 (January to December 26).
Of these 143, nine were wearing helmets at the time of the mishap.
Compared to this, as many as 206 two-wheeler and pillion riders died in 2019, 18 of which were wearing helmets.
The number of accidental deaths involving two-wheeler riders in 2017 was 212 while the same was 193 in 2018.
In addition, 64 pedestrians were killed in 2019 in various road accidents, while only 32 have been killed in 2020.
According to statistics revealed by the traffic branch, as many as 127 accidents were reported upto November 2020 which left 290 persons injured, 78 of whom escaped with minor injuries.
In 2019, 199 accidents took place in the city which caused 206 deaths and left 463 with grievous injuries, while 163 sustained minorities injuries.
According to deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Rahul Srirame, the fall in the number of accidents is mainly due to the lockdown.
“The number of deaths for 2020 has come down because of the prolonged Covid-19 induced lockdown and restrictions in place. The number of two-wheeler riders not wearing helmets who met with death in various accidents has increased. We appeal to citizens and advise them to wear helmets while riding,” said Shrirame.
He added that the most of the accident victims died due to serious head injuries, as they were not wearing helmets.
A survey conducted by Parisar, an NGO working on traffic safety in Pune, found in 2019 only 46% of two-wheeler riders wore helmets.
Pune holds the distinction of having highest number of two-wheelers in the country. Parisar had conducted a detailed study of the 10 busiest junctions in Pune city wherein 5,500 two-wheelers, including 995 two-wheelers with pillion riders were surveyed.
As many as 700 photographs were analysed in the survey by the traffic experts and it was found that a meagre 3% of the 995 pillion riders caught on camera used helmets.
Ranjit Gadgil, project director, Parisar, said, “Helmet compliance increased when traffic police implemented the law effectively two years ago, but later, the entire system of electronic challans came into place and on-ground presence of policemen was reduced. There was a kind of fear amongst citizens till police were seen on ground and in their absence, citizens increasingly adopted helmetless riding. The police enforcement of helmets requires political support. Police must continue on ground enforcement strategically.”
Pedestrian First convenor Prashant Inamdar said, “The focus should be on the enforcement system, and penalty collection system, which will yield good results in the future. We have to look for out- of-the-box solutions to enforce the helmet rule in the city. There is a need to relook at the entire issue once again in the larger interests of citizens.”
Total fatal accidents since 2017 – 926
Total injured: 1,900 persons
Fatal accidents where two-wheeler rider or pillion was not wearing helmet – 175
Fatal accidents where two-wheeler rider or pillion was not wearing helmet – 140
Fatal accidents where two-wheeler rider or pillion was not wearing helmet – 314
Fatal accidents involving youth in 18-35 age group – 136 deaths
Number of road accidents in 2020, as per area-wise police station
Bharati Vidyapeeth (34)
Koregaon Park (24)
Bund Garden (07)
Other police stations (43)
Source for statistics: Traffic police branch.
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