More than 500 pedestrians lost their lives while trying to cross the roads in Bengaluru, an analysis of road accidents from 2017 to 2020 shows.
As per the crash data analysed by World Resources Institute (WRI), India, a research organisation, there were a total of 907 pedestrian fatalities during the four years, of which 60% were killed while crossing the roads.
Experts cite the lack of pedestrian infrastructure, especially safer crossings, on most roads as the primary reason for the increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. Instead of constructing foot overbridges, there should be safe at-grade crossings, they say.
WRI collated first information reports (FRIs) and inspected some of the places where the accidents occurred. The highest number of pedestrian fatalities (185) was reported among senior citizens (60-plus) followed by those aged between 46 and 60 years (128).
The analysis also shows that 88% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at road crossings, which is due to speeding vehicles.
Some of the accident hotspots included Majestic terminal, KR Market, Outer Ring Road, Bellary Road and Hosur Road. Around 28% of fatalities occurred after sunset, between 7 pm and 10 pm.
Priyanka Sulkhlan, Manager, Sustainable Cities and Transport at WRI India, said pedestrian crossings are the key connectors in a city. “They help in promoting sustainable mobility and safety for all road users. Pedestrians also prefer the shortest and most comfortable route while crossing the road,” she said.
The researcher also stressed that constructing more foot overbridges and underpasses only leads to haphazard crossings and multiple conflict points. “This is why safe at-grade crossings need to be prioritised and pedestrian infrastructure should be the focus to save lives and improve traffic efficiency,” she said.
The BBMP has been increasingly focusing on constructing skywalks even on three-lane and four-lane roads instead of at-grade safe crossings. A majority of skywalks, except the ones on the Outer Ring Road, remain unused as pedestrians prefer taking the shortest route to cross the roads.
Road accidents claimed 2,739 lives in Bengaluru between 2017 and 2020, of which 907 were pedestrians
2017: 169 pedestrians killed
2020 (lockdown year): 58
81% (740) deaths recorded in crashes at junctions
Senior citizens vulnerable: 32% of total pedestrian deaths were of those aged above 60