Kottayam: Statistics show that out of the deaths due to road accidents, over 20 percent include pedestrians. It is a matter of concern that pedestrians are at such a high risk of accidents. The transport department’s records show that among these, one out of three were killed during night.
Out of the people killed in accidents in 2018, 29 percent was pedestrians. In 2019, it rose to 28.3 percent. In the numbers of 2020 and June 2021, the death rate of pedestrians is comparatively less. In 2020, the death rate of pedestrians was 24.8 percent. In 2021, the record till the month of June is 22.9 percent. The number of deaths and accidents might’ve reduced due to the lockdown restrictions that forced people to stay home.
The programs that were started to ensure the safety of pedestrians using the road safety fund has not been finished yet. This includes making of the safe school zone, crossing signal, tabletop crossing, installing handrails for footpaths, engaging extra safety measures in black spots where accidents occur frequently.
The lack of light on the roads during nighttime has proven to be a problem. Although solar-powered lights were installed on certain roads, they have been damaged. 95 spots have been classified as black spots. For ensuring safety in extreme black spots, a sum of Rs. 19.85 crores have been allowed from the road safety fund.
Pedestrian deaths due to accidents
(Year, Total accident deaths, Pedestrians killed)
2018, 4303, 1250
2019, 4440, 1275
2020, 2979, 738
2021(Till June), 719, 394
Safety not ensured
Footpaths are important to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Almost 75 percent of roads in Kerala do not have footpaths. Directions were given to ensure safety on the Aroor-Cherthala road where the most number of pedestrians have been in accidents, but it isn’t being carried out. The lorry drivers from other states are often engaged in such accidents. Even after finding the black spots, safety is not being ensured properly due to many reasons.