Pedestrian deaths in 2018: a comparison of the top 8 cities in India
Our previous blog summarised pedestrian safety in the country’s largest cities. These 8 cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune – recorded 2113 pedestrian deaths and over 9000 pedestrian injuries in the last year alone. Pedestrian deaths in these cities varied significantly, from 101 in Ahmedabad to 775 in Delhi. In this blog, we attempt to understand how one city fared relative to another, with context set by their populations, land areas, road lengths and modal shares.
‘Pedestrian deaths per 100 kilometres’ helps us compare the density of pedestrian deaths on the road. As shown in the graph below, pedestrian deaths per 100 km in Chennai was nearly 2.5 times the average rate (5.2 deaths per 100 km) of these 8 cities. It was also high in Mumbai, where it was nearly double the average rate.
Pedestrian deaths per lakh population ranged between 1.59 in Mumbai and 5.08 in Chennai. Both Chennai and Delhi recorded high rates of pedestrian deaths per lakh population.
Further we can compare the number of pedestrian deaths in each of these cities with the walking modal share numbers. Modal share describes the percentage of trips that are made by walk. When pedestrian deaths were plotted against the respective walking modal shares in cities, we found that Mumbai, Chennai, and Pune did not witness significantly higher pedestrian deaths for their corresponding walking modal shares. Especially in the case of Mumbai, the percentage of pedestrian deaths were lower (48%) as compared to the walking modal share (50%). On the other hand, all the other cities witnessed higher pedestrian deaths for their corresponding walking modal shares. This was starkly evident in the case of Kolkata and Hyderabad, where the percentage pedestrian deaths were the almost double their corresponding walking modal shares, indicating more pedestrians were being killed in these cities even as fewer trips are being made by walking.
Limitations: The data on population, road length, and modal share that was obtained for this analysis is, to a large extent, data that is reported by the municipal corporations and therefore pertains to areas within the city limits. The pedestrian crash data was obtained from the city traffic police through RTI applications. In some cases, the police jurisdiction extends beyond the city limits to cover surrounding areas. This anomaly has to be kept in mind before inferences are drawn using the data presented in this blog.
Population: Census 2011
Road Length: Delhi Traffic Police (2019); Urban Development Research Institute, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (2019); Greater Chennai Corporation (2019); Kolkata Municipal Corporation (2019); Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (2019); Pune Municipal Corporation (2019); Ministry of Urban Development
Pedestrian deaths: data sought under Right to Information Act (2005)
Modal share: ITDP (2016); CMP for Greater Mumbai, MCGM (2016), Ministry of Urban Development (2008), Chennai Smart Cities Ltd. (2015), Pune Municipal Corporation (2011)