NEW DELHI: A total of 4,49,002 road accidents occurred in India in 2019, causing 1,51,113 deaths, despite the number of such road mishaps coming down during the year when compared with 2018, Parliament was informed on Monday.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that road accidents are occurring due to multiple causes such as over speeding, drunken driving, consumption of alcohol, driving on wrong side/lane, indiscipline, fault of the driver of motor vehicle, use of mobile phones during driving etc.
The number of road accidents in 2018 was 4,67,044 and deaths were recorded at 1,51,417.
Gadkari said his ministry has implemented a scheme for undertaking publicity measures and awareness campaigns on road safety to create awareness among road users through the electronic media, print media, NGOs etc.
He added that high priority has been taken to identify and rectify black spots (accident prone spots) on national highways.
Gadkari noted that safety standards for automobiles have been improved and the ministry has notified fitment of speed limiting devices on all transport vehicles.
Replying to a separate question, he said the government does not collect data on removal of liquor shops situated along the national highways as this is a state subject.
The Supreme Court of India has issued directions regarding stopping the grant of licences for sale of liquor along national and state highways and over a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the national or state highways or of a service lane along the highway.
“As per the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court, the ministry has requested all the state governments and UTs, from time to time, to take necessary action for implementation of the order(s) of Hon’ble Supreme Court.
“Further, Section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides for punishment of imprisonment or fine or both for the offence of drunken driving cases,” he said.
Stating that the ministry deals with the matters related to development of national highways and providing access to properties situated along the national highways, he said the ministry has no control on the usage of and business run in these properties located beyond the Right of Way (ROW) of national highways.
Replying to another question, Gadkari said 536 persons killed and 1,655 persons injured under category of ‘hit and run’ in Delhi in 2019