Vehicles moving on the wrong side of roads killed 24 people a day on average in 2018 in India, and accidents due to collisions with parked vehicles claimed 4,780 lives in the same year, a government report said. The report, accessed by Times Now, showed a 9% decrease since 2017 in accidents due to wrong-side driving, but casualties due to collisions with parked vehicles doubled in the same period.

The road transport ministry’s report, which was released on Friday, said that the number of people killed in all road accidents in 2018 was an all-time high of 1,51,417, about 3,500 more than the preceding year, reported The Times of India. Uttar Pradesh had the most road accident deaths – 22,256.

The total number of accidents in 2018 was 4,67,044 – a daily average of 1,280 accidents, the report said.

The share of two-wheelers involved in serious accidents was the highest at 31.4%, which was followed by cars and jeeps. The report said that fatalities among two-wheeler riders were more likely, at 35.2%. In the last year, cyclists, pedestrians and two-wheelers recorded 54% of the casualties in road accidents.

Speeding was one of the primary reasons for fatalities in road accidents, with 64.4% of people being killed due to it. Wrong-side driving resulted in 5.8% of the deaths.

The ministry’s report said that Delhi recorded a death due to road accidents about every five hours in 2018. Out of every 10 accidents in Indian cities, one was reported in the national Capital. This was the highest in the last five years. Out of 17,709 people who were killed in road accidents in cities with a population of more than one million, 1,690 were in Delhi. This figure is much higher than those recorded in Mumbai – 475 – and Kolkata – 294.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which came into force on September 1, had resulted in protests from several states across the country due to the heavy fines introduced in the legislation. States like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha and Maharashtra have raised concerns about the exorbitant penalties. Uttarakhand and Gujarat announced a reduction in the fines, while Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has instructed transport authorities in the state to reduce fines for traffic violations. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to implement the heavy fines, and Maharashtra and Kerala wrote to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari against the exorbitant increase.

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