Increase in penalties following amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act and the COVID-19-induced lockdown have resulted in accidents coming down by 9,700, injuries by 11,325 and in saving 1,233 lives on roads in the State during the 12-month period ending September 2020.
The accidents, injuries and fatalities that were 41,206, 46,140 and 4,468 respectively in the 12 months from September 2018 have come down to 31,508, 34,815 and 3,235 respectively from September 2019 to September 2020.
The reduction is 30%, 31% and 33% respectively for road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Analysis of the road accident statistics by the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) has revealed that there were no significant changes in the accidents from September 2019 to December 2019, the period after the Motor Vehicles Act amendment. However, there was a slight decline in their severity. After the penalties for various offences on the road went up, there was a 4% reduction in crashes and injuries and 17% reduction in road fatalities in January-March 2020.
In the April-May 2020 period when the lockdown was enforced due to the pandemic, the road accidents declined by 75% and fatalities by 78% in the State.
In the ‘Unlock’ period from June to August 2020, the road accidents and injuries across the State were lesser by 40% and fatalities by 34%.
A 25% decline in road fatalities during the period, excluding the lockdown period, can be attributed to the stern enforcement measures by the MVD and the police following the MV Act amendment and the roll out of the Safe Kerala Project, says KRSA Executive Director, Road Safety, T. Elangovan.
The accident data for the period from January 2020 to September 2020 period has also shown a decline of 34.7% in accidents and 40.1% in fatalities.