Ludhiana, November 18
Almost 10 per cent of the total lives lost in road accidents in the state every year were due to stray animals colliding with ill-fated vehicles, a first-of-its-kind latest study has revealed.
The special research-based study was conducted by a team, led by Punjab Road Safety and Traffic Research Centre (PRSTRC) Director Navdeep Asija and comprising lead researcher Simranjeet Singh, on the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in a bid to reduce animal-related road fatalities in the state.
The study has mapped the stray animal hotspots, where over two road accidents involving animals, either directly or indirectly, have been reported.
Surprisingly, a whopping 95 of the total 109 animal-vehicle collision (AVC) hotspots, as they have been defined, fall in the Malwa region whereas 11 were under Doaba and the Majha region has the least of three hotspots.
The hotspots had claimed 1,121 lives in road mishaps involving collisions with stray animals in the state during the past three years between 2020 and 2022.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Traffic, Amardeep Singh Rai, said 1,121 fatalities, 252 severe injuries, and 179 minor injuries in the AVCs make up 8 to 10 per cent of the total annual road crash fatalities occurring on diverse roads of the state.
He said following a comprehensive analysis of road accident data across Punjab’s districts, it was evident that Bathinda, Muktsar, Moga, Sangrur, Faridkot, Patiala, and Mansa, all situated in the Malwa region, have consistently reported the highest fatality counts attributed to animal-vehicle collisions.
“This concentration of fatalities in the Malwa region represents a significant portion, accounting for 83.1 per cent of the total AVC fatalities in Punjab. In contrast, the Majha and Doaba regions collectively contribute 17 per cent of the total AVC fatalities,” Rai shared.
As per the methodology defined for the identification of animal-vehicle collision Hotspots (AVC hotspots) in the state, a total of 109 hotspots have been identified across various police districts, of which 95 AVC hotspots fall under the Malwa region whereas 11 and three AVC hotspots fall under the Doaba and Majha regions, respectively.
Among these hotspots, Bathinda stands out with the highest number at 14, followed by Muktsar and Faridkot with 11 AVC hotspots each. Other districts, including Mansa, Moga, Ludhiana and Sangrur, also exhibit multiple AVC hotspots, while several districts have only one identified hotspot.
“This comprehensive identification across Punjab’s road network provides valuable insights for road safety measures and interventions,” Dr Asija, who is also the Traffic Advisor to Punjab, said, adding that the study would present a comprehensive analysis of animal-vehicle collisions across the state’s entire road network, including an in-depth examination of each district, using police FIR data from 2020 to 2022. He hoped that these initiatives contribute to a holistic grasp of AVCs in the state, allowing for the formulation of evidence-backed strategies to prevent AVCs, enhance road safety and safeguard both human and animal populations.
To institute prompt measures: ADGP
“Within the scope of this research project, our goal is to identify particular geographic zones of road network in districts where the concentration of AVCs occurs, with the intention of designating road segments as AVC hotspots. This vital data holds the potential to equip local law enforcement agencies and government bodies with the information needed to carry out comprehensive investigations and institute prompt measures to mitigate risks in these accident-prone regions, ” said Amardep Singh Rai, ADGP, Traffic, Punjab.
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