Pedestrian crashes in Bangalore: Part 1
Bangalore witnessed 642 road fatalities in 2017, of which nearly 44% (282) involved pedestrians. The number is even more alarming given that only about 8% of all trips in Bengaluru are covered by walk according to RITES.
A decreasing trend
Some relief, however, may be found in year-on-year reduction in pedestrian fatalities over the past few years, particularly in 2013-14 and 2016-17.
Pedestrian crashes, deaths, and injuries (2010-2017)
High number of deaths in the peripheries of the city
The majority of pedestrian deaths in 2017 were reported in peripheral areas including KR Puram, Banaswadi, Byatarayanapura, Yeshwanthpur, Peenya, Electronic City, and Yelahanka. These areas, most of which are adjoining the Outer Ring Road, have consistently seen a high number of pedestrian deaths as compared to other areas in the past few years.
Both KR Puram and Electronic City together have reported around 361 pedestrian deaths between 2010 and 2017 – about 14% of all pedestrian deaths in the city inthat period. Electronic city, however, recorded 56% fewer crashes in 2016-17 compared to two previous years, the cause of which remains to be studied.
Pedestrian Fatalities (2010-2017)
NA: Not available
In contrast, the areas that reported the lowest number of crashes are mostly in and around the Central Business District (CBD). Cubbon Park, Sadashivnagar, High Grounds, Ashok Nagar, Shivajinagar, KG Halli, City Market, Magadi Road, and RT Nagar have collectively reported 12 pedestrian deaths in 2017, amounting to only 4% of the total pedestrian fatalities in the year. This is despite the fact that the core areas of city witness heavy pedestrian traffic (CTTP, 2007).
Among the reasons for such low number of pedestrian deaths in these areas could be the availability of footpaths and pedestrian crossings. The areas adjoining the Outer Ring Road meanwhilerecordhigh vehicular speeds and therefore result in dangerous conflicts between pedestrians and the motorized traffic. It would be worthwhile to also look at the jurisdictional area of each of the traffic police stations to normalize the data and eliminate any resulting variations.
Distribution of pedestrian crashes, deaths, and injuries across jurisdictional areas, 2017
FIR reports could look beyond human causal factors
Nearly 90% of all the crashes were attributed to overspeeding and reckless driving; 2.5% were attributed to driving under the influence (DUI) and 3.2% to reversing the vehicle carelessly. It was observed that the FIR reporting focused heavily on identifying the human factors responsible for the crash. While one cannot refute the fact that speed and reckless driving are prominent contributing factors to high risk pedestrian crashes, it is also importantto look at other causal factors pertaining to vehicles and road infrastructure. There is scope for conducting scientific crash investigations to identify the actual rather than apparent reasons of crashes; data collected through such methods will be crucial in designing strategies to reduce the magnitude and severity of crashes.
Out of the 276 fatal crashes, 73% were reported to the respective traffic police station on the same day, and 21% on the next day. In at least 2% of the cases, the FIR reports were filed after more than a week. The distance of the crash spot from the nearest police station also varied significantly. While a majority of crashes happen within 2.5 kilometers from the nearest traffic police station, in 2% of the cases, the distance was greater than 10km. These crashes happened around International Airport, Jalahalli, and Chikkajala.
FIR reporting and distance of crash site from the nearest traffic police station
This is the first of a four-part series that presents analyses from a pedestrian crash data study in the city of Bangalore. The study was based on FIR reports collected from the Bangalore Traffic Police for pedestrian crashes reported in the year 2017. The data was obtained through relevant RTI applications.
This first part discusses the overall numbers, year-wise trends, the distribution of crashes across traffic police jurisdictions, and the quality of reporting. The second part of the series will present the temporal analysis of crashes. The third part will discuss mode-wise involvement, collision configuration, and nature of impact. The last part part will talk about victim profile, location of death, and the victims’ mode of transport to hospital.