51% difference in the number of road fatalities in 2 departments | India News


NEW DELHI: In a curious case of how two government agencies can provide two sets of data on the same problem, and that too with a huge difference, even when the source of their numbers is the same, the NCRB under the ministry of The Interior and the TRW, which reports to the Department of Transport, have released various figures on road deaths based on reports from state police departments. This has been happening for many years, as the benchmarking of the reports shows.
Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari this week informed the Rajya Sabha that 23,483 pedestrians were killed in road accidents in 2020. On the other hand, the latest report from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) mentioned that 11,901 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. the same year, 51% less than the figure quoted by the Ministry of Transport.

The NCRB and the Transport Research Wing (TRW) publish road accident reports annually. TRW has yet to release the traffic accident report for 2020. The two “only compile” data received from “state police departments,” specifically mention the annual reports released by the agencies.
A comparative analysis of previous reports published by the two agencies shows that data mismatch is a legacy problem despite several attempts at standardization. While there is a minor difference in the total number of road fatalities in the two reports, there is an incredible difference in the numbers when it comes to fatalities in different categories of road users such as pedestrians, truck occupants and cyclists.
Sources said that while the NCRB obtains data each year from the State Crime Records Bureaus (SCRB), the TRW obtains monthly figures from state police departments and rechecks them before releasing them.
Incorrect data entry has been the biggest obstacle in developing appropriate policies and measures to address any problem across the world and this is much more important in the Indian context given that the maximum number of road fatalities is reported from India.
“This has been a perennial problem and has been reported many times. But there is hardly any improvement so far and has a direct impact on policymaking or any other intervention aimed at reducing road accidents and fatalities, ”said Navdeep Asija, adviser to the circulation with the government of Punjab.
Professor Venkatesh Balasubramanian of the Technical Design Department at IIT Madras, who was instrumental in the deployment of a new computer data capture of road accidents by the Ministry of Road Transport, said: Data on road accidents reported accidents. This is one of the motivations of the Ministry of Road Transport to launch the Integrated Road Accident Database (iRAD). Having good quality triangulated data can help in root cause analysis, intervention development, and intervention impact assessment.
So far, at least 14 States and Union Territories have joined the iRAD platform for real-time and online capture of road accidents and all incident details. Balasubramanian said he is confident that almost all states will be on board by the end of 2022 and from 2023 the government will be able to get all data in real time without any possibility of manipulation or d ‘human error.


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