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893 lives lost in over 6000 road accidents in J&K last year

 893 lives lost in over 6000 road accidents in J&K last year

Nearly 14 lakh challans issued for traffic violations; experts stress increased awareness

Umaisar Gull Ganie

Qazigund, Feb 03 (KNO): Jammu & Kashmir witnessed a surge in road accidents, with a staggering 6,292 incidents claiming the lives of 893 people in 2023, according to official data.

The figures obtained from the J&K Traffic Police by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) indicate a concerning upward trend compared to the previous three years.

In 2019, there were 996 fatalities, followed by 728 in 2020, 774 in 2021, and 805 in 2022. The data for 2023 revealed 730 fatal accidents and 5,568 non-fatal accidents, resulting in 893 deaths and 8,469 injuries in the Union Territory.

The Kashmir division, particularly Srinagar district, recorded 476 accidents with 55 fatalities. In the Jammu division, the district of Jammu witnessed the highest number of accidents at 1,179, leading to 171 casualties.

The authorities issued 1,372,501 challans for traffic violations in the preceding year, covering both court and compound challans, data reveals. The breakdown of the figures indicated that Srinagar City traffic police issued 408,167 challans, Rural Kashmir issued 406,338, City Jammu traffic police recorded 332,221 challans, Rural Jammu 130,974, and the National Highway Ramban unit issued 94,801 such challans.

Several road fatalities in J&K occurred on national highways, particularly in the hilly Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban areas of Jammu. According to data, challenging road conditions between Jammu to Srinagar and Jammu to Doda-Kishtwar are contributing factors to numerous accidents.

Experts stress the need for public education, road improvements and stringent law enforcement to curb accidents.

“Accidents happen because of distracted driving, speeding, poor road maintenance and potholes. Vehicle problems, breaking traffic rules and lack of experience also contribute to fatalities,” they said, adding that road safety measures and awareness campaigns are of utmost importance to protect people’s lives and reduce the tragic toll of road accidents.

A senior traffic police official informed KNO that primary contributors to these accidents include excessive speed, overloading and aggressive driving.

“It is important to realise that the police cannot be omnipresent. Both passengers and drivers must exercise caution. Reckless driving should be avoided,” he said.

The traffic police have initiated various awareness campaigns to educate drivers on traffic rules and imposed substantial penalties for violations, the official added—(KNO)

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