Over 40% accidents in Andhra Pradesh took place during night hours, killing 1,800 people


It was a black Wednesday for motorists from Kottayam as six people lost their lives in four separate road accidents across Kottayam and Ernakulam districts.

VIJAYAWADA: Blame it on poor visibility or carelessness of drivers, around 1,800 people fell victim to road accidents reported in the State in 2019 during night hours, according to the data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH). 

According to the Road Accidents in India-2019 report, Andhra Pradesh has reported a total of 21,992 accidents, in which 7,984 people were killed and 24,619 injured, in 2019. As many as 7,682 accidents were reported on National Highways, 5,288 on State highways and the rest 9,022 on other roads. The number of accident deaths was more on national highways, 3,114, followed by other roads (2,834) and State highways (2,036).

According to the data, more than 40 per cent of the road mishaps took place during the night hours --- between 9 pm and 6 am --- when the drivers find it tough to see the vehicles in front from a distance due to poor light conditions, resulting in collision with parked vehicles or hitting vehicles from rear. 

The data showed that 5,195 road accidents were due to one vehicle hitting another from behind and 1,543 persons lost their lives in such mishaps. Similarly, 199 people were killed in 652 mishaps as vehicles rammed into parked vehicles.

In addition to poor light, travelling during night hours in November, December and January proved fatal as the roads lack basic infrastructure for safe commuting in fog. “The highest number of 2,011 road accidents were reported in December, 1,891 in January and 1,788 in November,” as per the MORTH data.

Retro Reflective Tape
As the number of accidents involving collision of vehicles from behind and front have been increasing on the highways, the MORTH has made affixing of Retro Reflective Tape (RRT) mandatory for all transport vehicles, heavy vehicles and cars as per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 2019 (Amendment). 

Unfortunately, transport and road safety officials have failed to inspect the vehicles and implement the Act strictly to prevent mishaps during the night hours. Meanwhile, the increase in fatalities due to parked vehicles on roads during night hours highlighted the dire need for a robust highway police patrol system. 

The number of persons killed due to collision with parked vehicles on roads steadily increased in the past two years. One can clearly notice the vehicles affixed with reflective tape on the backside from a distance of more than one kilometer, which helps others drive carefully when the vehicle approaches.

“Though there are clear instructions from the Central government, the State officials have failed to take such initiatives to the public. Not just in the case of RRT, the State lags behind in implementing a few more directions. Effective implementation of retro reflective tape rule and other safety measures will help prevent road accidents during night hours,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity. 

Reference: New Indian Express - Road Accidents in Andhra Pradesh - Minimise the accident