In a concerning development, road accidents in Kerala surged by 9.6% in 2023, reaching 48,141 incidents compared to 43,910 in 2022. Despite a decrease in the number of fatalities (4010 lives lost), the state witnessed a 10% rise in injuries. Kerala now stands third in the country for the highest number of road accidents, trailing behind Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Experts suggest that despite ambitious projects, such as the Rs 232-crore artificial intelligence-based surveillance cameras, implemented by the Kerala Government, the desired results in improving road safety have not been achieved.
Contrary to earlier claims by the Transport Commissioner, who asserted a 13.7% decrease in accident rates after the Vadakkanchery bus accident, the latest data reveals a significant increase in accidents in both 2022 and 2023. Observers point out flaws in the state’s road safety measures, emphasizing the lack of a Road Safety Commissioner, contradictory changes in the structure of road safety squads, and the predominant utilization of safety funds by the Motor Vehicles Department. Additionally, recommendations from an Amicus Curiae report, following a tragic bus mishap, were allegedly overlooked, raising concerns about the effectiveness of enforcement duties and organizational structures in curbing road accidents in the state.