Mumbai: 46% fewer pedestrian deaths in 5 years, but the city can do better
This blog outlines the trend of pedestrian crashes in Mumbai between 2010 and 2018. The data presented here was obtained from Mumbai Traffic Police through an RTI application. Through this, we aim to draw attention to the magnitude of pedestrian crashes in the city and provide context to further link these trends with efforts made by the city over the years to address this issue.
Mumbai’s pedestrians are the city’s most vulnerable road users: they were victims of 48% of all road deaths in the city in 2018
Mumbai relies on its famous suburban trains and iconic BEST buses for transportation. What we often miss, however, is that these modes are accessed mostly by walk. But the walk to the station or the bus stop is by no means safe. Most of the city’s roads are poorly designed, with little or no regard for pedestrians. The result? – unreasonably high pedestrian deaths and injuries.
2,756 pedestrians have died and 19,793 injured on Mumbai’s roads since 2010. Though alarming, there is some relief in the fact that the city has seen a consistent decrease in pedestrian deaths in the last three years, outperforming every other major city in this regard. Between 2010 and 2018, Mumbai recorded a 46% reduction in pedestrian fatalities, while Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi registered lower rates of reduction of 31%, 24% and 19% respectively.
Between 2010 and 2018, pedestrian deaths in Mumbai decreased at an average annual rate of 7%, while road deaths in general went down by 5% annually. The city did particularly well in 2017-18, registering the highest year-on-year decrease in pedestrian deaths of 20%. The reasons for such consistent decrease are as yet not fully understood. But it is extremely important to analyze these patterns closely to make conscious advances towards reducing pedestrian crashes.
Mumbai has more reasons than any other city to invest in good pedestrian infrastructure, because a majority of people in Mumbai walk. Nearly 51% of all trips in the city are made by walk. Lack of safe pedestrian spaces could adversely impact this rather healthy and sustainable culture, which the city should not risk at a time when other Indian cities are scrambling to increase the mode share of walkers.