Surge in Bihar road accidents raise safety concerns
ROADS & HIGHWAYS

Surge in Bihar road accidents raise safety concerns

Recent data from the traffic department, analysed from 2020-2023, indicates a rise in road accidents, including fatal ones, in Bihar. This concern is highlighted by a chilling accident in Mumbai where a 45-year-old was hit and dragged for nearly 1.5km. Similarly harrowing incidents have become a common occurrence in Bihar.

For example, a speeding car collided with an autorickshaw in Begusarai, killing five people on the spot and seriously injuring three. The two men in the car abandoned their vehicle and fled. This incident is reminiscent of a tragic road accident in Patna in March 2019, where a teenager, driving his father's car, hit and dragged a 16-year-old boy for nearly 8km, resulting in the boy's severe mutilation. In just the first nine days of July, at least 20 people have died in various road accidents across Bihar. On July 1, a speeding tractor in Rohtas split a car in two, killing three people. On July 5, a speeding car in Patna district killed a man and his two children after hitting three bikes. On July 4, a truck collision in Kishanganj district resulted in the death of a one-year-old toddler and his parents. In 2023, nearly 10,000 road accidents occurred in Bihar, with around 8,900 fatalities. The traffic department's analysis shows an increasing trend in road accidents, including fatal ones. Bihar ranks number 14 in road accidents on national highways, but number 7 in fatal accidents. Alarmingly, it is second in terms of deaths per 100 accidents on national highways and in accidents per 10,000 vehicles, despite having only 5% of the total NH length.

ADG (traffic) Sudhanshu Kumar attributed the main causes of such accidents to over-speeding, wrong-side driving, and overloading of vehicles. He cited an incident in Lakhisarai where 14 people died after their overloaded auto was hit by a speeding truck. He emphasized the need for behavioural changes to curb such accidents.

To address these issues, the state has introduced highway patrolling vehicles, flagged off by CM Nitish Kumar on June 21. Currently, 23 vehicles are in operation, with 38 more expected by mid-August, covering around 3,000km. However, Sudhanshu stressed that addressing black spots, over 200 of which exist in the state (95% on national highways), is crucial for reducing accidents.

Social worker Shahzade pointed out that while new roads have been constructed, the absence of foot overbridges, particularly in rural areas, has led to many becoming victims of speeding trucks. He advocated for permanent solutions such as railway and foot overbridges at necessary locations, stating that mere signage is insufficient to solve the problem. (Source: ET)

Recent data from the traffic department, analysed from 2020-2023, indicates a rise in road accidents, including fatal ones, in Bihar. This concern is highlighted by a chilling accident in Mumbai where a 45-year-old was hit and dragged for nearly 1.5km. Similarly harrowing incidents have become a common occurrence in Bihar. For example, a speeding car collided with an autorickshaw in Begusarai, killing five people on the spot and seriously injuring three. The two men in the car abandoned their vehicle and fled. This incident is reminiscent of a tragic road accident in Patna in March 2019, where a teenager, driving his father's car, hit and dragged a 16-year-old boy for nearly 8km, resulting in the boy's severe mutilation. In just the first nine days of July, at least 20 people have died in various road accidents across Bihar. On July 1, a speeding tractor in Rohtas split a car in two, killing three people. On July 5, a speeding car in Patna district killed a man and his two children after hitting three bikes. On July 4, a truck collision in Kishanganj district resulted in the death of a one-year-old toddler and his parents. In 2023, nearly 10,000 road accidents occurred in Bihar, with around 8,900 fatalities. The traffic department's analysis shows an increasing trend in road accidents, including fatal ones. Bihar ranks number 14 in road accidents on national highways, but number 7 in fatal accidents. Alarmingly, it is second in terms of deaths per 100 accidents on national highways and in accidents per 10,000 vehicles, despite having only 5% of the total NH length. ADG (traffic) Sudhanshu Kumar attributed the main causes of such accidents to over-speeding, wrong-side driving, and overloading of vehicles. He cited an incident in Lakhisarai where 14 people died after their overloaded auto was hit by a speeding truck. He emphasized the need for behavioural changes to curb such accidents. To address these issues, the state has introduced highway patrolling vehicles, flagged off by CM Nitish Kumar on June 21. Currently, 23 vehicles are in operation, with 38 more expected by mid-August, covering around 3,000km. However, Sudhanshu stressed that addressing black spots, over 200 of which exist in the state (95% on national highways), is crucial for reducing accidents. Social worker Shahzade pointed out that while new roads have been constructed, the absence of foot overbridges, particularly in rural areas, has led to many becoming victims of speeding trucks. He advocated for permanent solutions such as railway and foot overbridges at necessary locations, stating that mere signage is insufficient to solve the problem. (Source: ET)

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