City roads turn death traps after midnightTIMES NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi: More than 70% of the accidents on Delhi roads happen between midnight and 6am, according to the traffic police.
The capital reported 215 fatal accidents till February 28 this year. In 2017, 213 cases were seen in the same period. Police officers said that in 50% of the cases, drivers claimed they couldn’t see the victim because of light from the other side of the road or because of another vehicle in front of them.
The other accidents happened because of bad roads or encroachments. From midnight to 6am, major traffic signals are put on blinking mode or don’t have policemen to monitor traffic.
Last week, a biker was crushed by a truck on the Lajpat Nagar flyover when he tried to avoid hitting some bricks lying on the road and slipped. While traffic policemen are present on the roads till 11pm, policing past midnight is solely dependent on the local police teams.
According to the temporal trend of accidents in the capital, the midnight-2am and 4am-6am slots are considered the most dangerous as trucks are allowed to enter the city and the traffic volume is high.
The traffic police study found that 55% of the accidents were caused because of speeding as drivers were unable to slow down their vehicles at traffic signals and ended up hitting a divider or another vehicle. A similar case was seen on Tolstoy Marg in Lutyens’ Delhi last week when the driver could not slam the brakes on time after spotting an autorickshaw on the way.
The study also found that in 40% of the cases, both the victims and the accused drivers were in the age group of 19-30 years. Alarmingly, 6% of the drivers found to be involved in accidents were underage.
Apart from inadequate checks for speeding and drunk driving, the police found that 30% of the accidents were because of encroachments on the road, while another 15% happened due to light reflecting on the windshield of the vehicle.
Of the 750 accidents reported past midnight last year, almost 300 were hit and run cases as there was no one to see or catch the accused, according to the study. Also, most roads where accidents took place were not under CCTV surveillance. According to the traffic police data, roads around Najafgarh, Dwarka, Model Town and Mehrauli were found to be most prone to fatal accidents past midnight. The police attributed this to speeding and reckless driving.