The State has reduced accidents by 54% in the last five years: World Bank official
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari asked the States to follow the Tamil Nadu model of road safety.
He was speaking after releasing a report, ‘Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society’. The report was the result of a study done by the World Bank and SaveLIFE Foundation, an NGO that works for road safety.
Data for the study was collected from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, which account for 35% of the total fatalities in India.
Hartwig Schafer, World Bank vice-president for the South Asia region, and Piyush Tewari, CEO and founder of SaveLIFE Foundation, were present. “Tamil Nadu, with the support of the World Bank, has reduced accidents by 54% over the last five years. It is an inspirational and motivational model that should be emulated by all the States,” he said.
According to the study, more than 59% of low-income households and 47.6% of high-income households faced a decline in the total household income following road accidents.
Tamil Nadu registered 57,228 road crashes and 1,05,252 road crash deaths in 2019 alone, making it the State with the sixth highest road crash deaths that year. “In 2018, it was number one, and there was a dramatic drop due to the efforts of the State,” Mr. Tewari said.
A total of 510 respondents (victims and household members) participated in the study. Among them, 103 belonged to high-income households and 407 were from low-income households.
Around 77.8% of the respondents were male road crash victims, and 22.7% were women, and 179 of the victims were breadwinners. “As many male members died in accidents, the burden fell on women and many experienced a change in work patterns and some extended work hours,” Mr. Tewari said.
The study also covered 100 truck drivers in Tamil Nadu, and half of them were unaware that the attendant is also covered under the motor third party liability insurance under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. More than half were also unaware of the time limit for filing of cases for compensation, which is six months from the occurrence of crash, and they did not know that motor third party liability insurance is mandatory.