Is Saturday Night Fever - Causing accidents in Mumbai?
Whenever you begin a new year, all sorts of statistics from previous years get released. One set of data that caught my eye recently is for the year 2020, and pertains purely to Mumbai. It shows that the lockdowns and restrictions on movement due to Covid 19 resulted in a decline in road accidents and fatalities in 2020. With fewer vehicles and people on the road, this is along expected lines.
Is 'Saturday Night Fever' causing road accidents in Mumbai? Image source Madhuvan Yadav on Unsplash
Another thing that comes as no surprise is that rash and negligent driving was the main reason for accidents, and caused the majority of mishaps. This is something everyone knows and like every year, I hope and pray that in 2022, we strictly enforce traffic rules and severely punish people for rash and undisciplined driving.
Rash driving is the biggest cause of road accidents in Mumbai. Image source Malhar Garud on Unsplash
What's really interesting though is that the highest number of deaths in road accidents in Mumbai happened on Saturday evening, with most injuries and fatalities taking place between 8.00 pm and midnight! The authorities say this is a pattern also seen in several other Indian cities and one of the reasons for this could be that there is less traffic on Saturdays, and this encourages motorists to drive faster than normal.
Highest road fatalities in Mumbai happen between 8.00 pm and midnight on Saturday. Image source Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash
While there could be some truth in this reasoning, in my opinion, drinking and driving might also be a very significant factor. A large number of people go out partying on Saturday evenings and if the maximum fatalities are happening between 8.00 pm and midnight, then high spirits and drinking and driving, are surely contributing to this.
People in Mumbai, come out to party on Saturday evenings. Image source Ansari Altamash on Unsplash
One other thing that happens on Saturday evenings is that many friends meet and hang out together in groups on the streets. Some of them also indulge in street racing and I am told there are also groups that drag and race, with bets being placed on them. And if the stakes are high or egos are hurt, then there always is the risk of accidents.
Speeding on the Bandra-Worli Sealink is common, especially on Saturday evenings. Image source Samarth Shirke on Unsplash
Given all this, it might be a good idea to increase the presence of traffic police on the streets, particularly on Saturday evenings. There should also be dedicated drives to catch and punish those who drink and drive. And special squads should move above about penalizing rash drivers and riders, both of which we find in plenty on our roads. Only strict enforcement of the law and heavy penalties and fines, can restrict reckless driving.
More police presence on the streets and strict enforcement of traffic rules is needed. Image source Animesh Bhargava on Unsplash
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