443 killed in these accidents
As per a government report, 2,597 road accidents in the state last year, 1,258 took place on national highways
According to the official data, out of the 1,032 fatalities, 443 persons died in accidents on national highways
As per the report of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, of the total 2,597 road accidents in the state last year, 1,258 accidents took place on national highways. While the total number of deaths in these mishaps was 1,032, as many as 443 died in accidents on national highways.
Considering that the national highways comprise just around 2,200 km of the total 41,000 km of road length in the state, the number of accidents and resultant deaths is quite high.
The two major reasons for such accidents and subsequent deaths are overspeeding and driving on the wrong side. As many as 517 accidents took place due to overspeeding, resulting in 264 deaths, while 268 accidents occurred due to driving on the wrong side, killing 99 people and drunken driving caused 25 accidents, resulting in the death of six persons. Incidentally, the national highways under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) saw fewer accidents and deaths than the national highways under the Public Works Department (PWD). As compared to 251 accidents and 76 deaths on the national highways under the NHAI, the national highways under the PWD recorded 998 accidents and 361 deaths.
Among the people killed in such accidents on national highways, 95 were pedestrians. The death count in the accidents involving two-wheelers and light motor vehicles like cars and taxis was 150 and 111, respectively.
Given the high number of accidents and deaths on national highways, the state Transport Department is planning to make people working at roadside establishments aware about road safety and engage them in post-accident situations to bring down the number of fatalities. "We have roped in the Social Work Department of Himachal Pradesh University to conduct a survey among the people working at roadside establishments like hotels, dhabas and kiosks along the national highways. These people are the first responders in case of an accident. Through this survey, these people will be made aware about road safety and laws so that they can help other people involved in mishaps without any fear," said Anupam Kashyap, Director, Transport Department.
To begin with, the survey will be done on the Parwanoo-Shimla National Highway and later on the other national highways. Also, the department plans to provide institutional training in helping out accident victims to the individuals keen on higher level of engagement in road safety activities.