LAHORE: A visible trend of decrease in causalities has been witnessed in road traffic crashes (RTCs) in the provincial capital, Lahore, during the ongoing year.
The data compiled by Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) revealed that at least 184 people lost their lives till November 18 in RTCs in the city. Last year, the figure was 350.
In 2017, as many as 443 people were killed. In 2016, 328 and in 2015, 308 people were killed in the accidents. Rescue officers pointed as strict enforcement campaign for use of the helmet as the biggest contributing factor towards this decline.
An officer said the head injury was the fatalist; very few survived it. However, the number of total RTCs and injured persons increased gradually since 2015 according to data.
In over 45,094 RTCs at least 46,000 people were injured in 2016. In 2015, 46,268 accidents in which 49,025 people were affected were reported. In 2017, the RTCs surged to 53,979 with 54,240 victims, in 2018, 80,804 with 82,396 victims and in 2019, 72,262 RTCs with 74,370 victims were reported. In 2019, 57,525 male and 16,845 female were injured in accidents.
In 2018, 67,930 male, 14,466 female, in 2017, 44971 male, 9262 female were reported. Data showed that a large number of pedestrians were among the victims. In 2019, 16,510, in 2018 15,951 and in 2017, 11,892 of the total victims were pedestrians.
However, a surge was witnessed in road accidents caused by underage drivers. In the ongoing year 5,688, in 2018, 5,455, in 2017, 4,610, in 2016, 4717 and in 2015, 4,988 of the victims were reported as underage drivers clearly indicating the gap in the effectiveness of the City Traffic Police’s enforcement campaigns as the trend was in ascending order. Data further showed that the bike was used in an overwhelming majority of the accidents.
In 2019, 41,802, in 2018, 50,785, in 2017, 29,108, in 2016, 25,018 and in 2015, 23,681 crashes involved motorcycles. The age bracket of 11-20 and 21-30 were recorded to be the most affected due to RTCs.
The victims falling in the age bracket of 21-30 in 2019 were reported as 18,846, 16,712 in 2018 and 16,174 in 2017. An overwhelming majority of the victims who survived but were in an unstable condition were recorded as 29,691 in 2019, 34,742 in 2018, 35,931 in 2017, in 2016, 32,518 and 34,098 in 2015.
Speeding was registered as the leading cause of accidents. In 2019 the reason behind 22,698 RTCs, 25,677 in 2018, 15,540 in 2017 and 11,547 in 2016 was registered speeding. Carelessness has been observed as another major reason behind the accidents.
In 2019, 16,481, in 2018, 20,692 and in 2017, 12,952 were caused by carelessness. As many as 11,664 RTCs in 2019, 15,869 in 2018 and 11,108 in 2017 occurred due to the wrong turn.
On Sunday, “World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims” was observed. Causalities and injuries due to RTCs is a serious issue in Punjab. An accident happens every 1.6 minutes in Punjab. At least 31,558 have died since 2004 according to Rescue 1122 statistics.
A statement issued by Rescue 1122 revealed that nearly 1.3 million people die annually and over 50 million suffer injuries leading to disabilities due to the road traffic accidents and 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries like Pakistan. Since 2004, Rescue 1122 has dealt with over 2.7 million victims of road traffic crashes across the province.
Initially, it was a pilot project in Lahore. Now its services have been expanded to Tehsil level. Furthermore, Rescue Service alone is managing around 900 road crashes on a daily basis in Punjab.
Out of 2.7 million injured due to RTCs, 280,381 had Head Injuries, 48,042 had Spinal Injuries, 238,663 had Multiple Fractures, 413,956 had single fractures, whereas fortunately 1720,892 (64%) were minor injured.
At least 79% of the victims were males and 21% females were affected in road traffic crashes whereas 31,558 died on the sport in Punjab. Speeding was the leading cause of accidents (40%), followed by careless driving (33%), wrong turns (8%) and other cases 19%. Whereas 1,718 cases of one-wheeling were reported.
Moreover, motorcycles were found to be involved in 61%, car in 11%, rickshaws in 11%, pedestrians in 13%, buses, trucks and vans in 8%. As many as 83% of road traffic accidents involve motorcyclists.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2019.