A total of 4,589 people died in different road accidents in 2021, averaging 13 fatalities per day, as per the ‘Punjab Road Accidents and Traffic – 2021’ report released by Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav Monday.
As per the report, there was an increase of 17.7 per cent in road accident fatalities as compared to 2020, when there were 3898 such deaths.
Additional Director General of Police (Traffic) A S Rai and traffic advisor to Punjab Navdeep Asija were present when DGP released the report.
Asija said over phone that due to Covid pandemic there was lesser traffic on roads in 2020 and the data of accident fatalities for 2021 was almost same if compared to pre-pandemic year 2019, when 4,525 persons died in road mishaps.
The report pointed out that an estimated 2.29 per cent of the country’s total population lives in Punjab, but the state’s share in the total road accidents was 2.8 per cent. It noted that overspeeding and driving on the wrong side was the “leading cause of deaths” in road accidents. “In the year 2021, a total of 3,276 people died in road accidents due to overspeeding followed by 522 due to driving on wrong side,” underlined the report.
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Analysing the financial implications, the report noted, “As per the socio-economic cost analysis, in Punjab, road accidents accounted for a loss of Rs 17,851 crore in 2021.
It also noted that age-wise, 69 per cent of the people involved in various fatal road accidents were between 18 and 45 years of age.
“In 2021, the time interval between 6 pm and 9 pm recorded maximum number of road accidents, accounting for 20.7 per cent of the total accidents in the state,” it oberved.
Majority of the road accidents occurred in rural areas of Punjab (59 per cent).
The report said there was an average deployment of eight traffic police personnel against per lakh population of Punjab and “at present 62 highway patrol vehicles are deployed on various roads of state near accident black spots”.
The report pointed out that in 2021, a total of 5,16,968 motor vehicles were registered in Punjab, accounting for annual growth rate of 0.22 percent. “Last year, on an average daily, 375 new cars and 982 two wheelers were added. The total cumulative figure for vehicles registered in Punjab till December 2021 was 1.21 crore (1,21,72,176),” it added.