Winter months and a four-hour window between 6 pm and 10 pm every day are the most dangerous times to be a pedestrian on Bengaluru’s roads, a new detailed study of pedestrian crashes in Bengaluru for the year 2018 has revealed.
As many as 30% of the total fatal crashes that pedestrians suffered were reported during this period. Incidentally, the number of crashes reported during this time period was 84 per cent higher than the average crashes reported at any other time.
In Bengaluru, as many 276 people have died after being hit by vehicles while walking on the roads.
The same study also found two-wheelers were the major (35%) cause of all fatal crashes pedestrians have suffered. An overwhelming 62% of the victims died were attempting to cross the road while another 25% died as they were walking on the roadside.
These findings were consolidated by The Footpath Initiative, a community advocating pedestrian safety, based on RTI applications to all 44 traffic police stations. These figures are based on data provided by the traffic police about instances where a motor vehicle was involved. There is no official record of injuries due to bad footpaths and roads alone.
As earlier reported, both the figures for death and injury was lower compared to the previous three years. The same can be attributed to the increased vehicular congestion in the city. The number of pedestrian deaths in Bengaluru for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 was 338, 320, 284 and 276, respectively. The corresponding figures for injuries to pedestrians in these years were 1254, 1292, 1346 and 1217.
Out of the 274 cases of pedestrian crashes, 232 were attributed to “over-speeding and reckless driving”.
A look at month-wise data will also reveal that the winter months are also the worst with December, January, February and March showing the most number of pedestrians affected.
The data also establishes a correlation between better pedestrian infrastructure and lesser pedestrian injuries and deaths. As observed the city centre on a whole has better pedestrian infrastructure than the outskirts be the city.
Even though the jurisdictional area of these police stations varies, the total pedestrian crashes reported in each of these jurisdictions confirm this trend. Pedestrian crashes varied between 7 each in Shivajinagar and High Grounds to 81 in KR Puram. Yelahanka reported the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2018, followed by KR Puram and Chikkajala. Peenya was the location where the highest number of pedestrian injuries were reported, followed by KR Puram and Kamkshipalya.
Pedestrian crashes were also found to be largely concentrated around arterial roads of the city. Hosur Road, Bellary Road, Mysore Road, Old Madras Road, and Outer Ring Road (ORR) saw a high number of crashes.
Age of the victims, type of vehicle
Another revelation that stood out was that most of the victims were senior citizens and those above 45 years of age. 33% of all accidents involved victims aged 60 years and above. Next, was the age group of people aged between 45-59 that accounted for 28% of the victims.
The study also recorded the type of vehicles involved in injuring or killing pedestrians in 232 of the 274 cases. While 35% of these accidents involved two-wheelers, 26 % of them involved a car or a jeep hitting the pedestrian. Heavy vehicles— trucks and buses — contributed to 24% of all crashes.
“There has been no such change in our findings from 2017; the crashes have dipped by only 2%. This means we have not done anything in the past year. If you see, the victims, one-third of the victims are above 60 years old. The trends are mostly the same, that accidents are happening in arterial roads and mostly on peripheral areas of the city,” Anusha Chitturi, a member of Footpath Initiative, said.
“The notable change is the involvement of two-wheelers causing accidents. Last year the percentage was not as high as 35%,” she added.