VIJAYAWADA: Fatalities in road accidents in Andhra Pradesh have seen a rise with over 5,800 persons losing their lives in the first 10 months of the year, as per government data.
Between January and October 2022, deaths in road accidents went up by 6.56 per cent across the state to 5,831 compared to 5,472 in the corresponding period last year.
The number of accidents increased by 9.95 per cent while the number of those injured grew by 11.11 per cent, government data showed.
In the first ten months this year, 14,314 road mishaps were reported in the 26 districts, leaving 5,831 persons dead and 15,585 injured, the data showed.
The AP Road Safety Council set a ''tolerant limit'', with the aim of reducing the number of fatalities by 15 per cent, but the actual numbers showed a 25.37 per cent jump.
While 'over-speeding' has been the major contributing factor, the pathetic condition of roads across the state has now emerged as another cause for concern, according to a senior member of the Road Safety Council (RSC).
''Light motor vehicles apart, lorries and State Road Transport Corporation buses are largely involved in accidents. Two-wheeler accidents have become quite too common,'' he pointed out.
In 2021, a total of 19,729 road accidents were registered in AP, in which 8,053 persons were killed and 21,169 injured. That was a 10.16 per cent rise in number of accidents and 14.08 per cent in fatalities compared to the year 2020.
In 2020, despite being the 'Covid year,' the state recorded 7,059 deaths and 19,612 injuries in 17,910 accidents.
About three years ago, the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety suggested various measures to curb road accidents and fatalities but the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was yet to act on it, the Road Safety Council member noted.
''There is a Road Safety Authority headed by a Director General of Police-rank official under the Chief Secretary. Under the Director General of Police, there is an Additional DGP exclusively for road safety. Basically they are treated as 'punishment postings', so they remain ineffective as far as road safety is concerned,'' the RSC senior member said.
On the suggestion of the Supreme Court Committee, a nominal Lead Agency on Road Safety was put in place at the state level but without deployment of required manpower.
The Lead Agency is supposed to assist the Road Safety Council in implementing the decisions of the Supreme Court Committee and also in policy formulation and implementation.
''Lead agencies are supposed to be formed at the district level as well but they have not taken any shape. So there is no mechanism to translate any plans for road safety into action at the ground level,'' a senior IPS officer told PTI.
The National Highways Authority of India identified over 350 'black spots' on various highways running across the state and rectified them.
The state, on the other hand, marked over 1,200 black spots but not even half of them were set right, the officer pointed out.
''Any look at the roads will tell why accidents in the state are on the up. We need to address every aspect, beginning with the roads itself, to make road safety effective to curb accidents and save lives,'' he stressed.