Unbridled increase in Motor vehicle Population in Kerala : A cause of grave concern

June 9, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

The unbridled increase in motor vehicle population in Kerala during the last decade, against only a nominal increase in road length has been causing serious concern regarding road safety in Kerala.

While road length in Kerala increased by 66 percent between 2005-06 and 2012-13 (from 1,60,944 km to 2,43,373 km in 2012-13), the motor vehicle population increased by 157.8 percent between 2005 and 2013 (from 31,22,082 lakh in 2005 to 80,48,673 lakh in 2013). According to latest estimates every day about 3171 vehicles are newly added to the vehicle population in the state. Between 2005-06 and 2012-13, while road length increased by 82,929 kms only, the motor vehicle population increased by a whopping 49,26,591 ! In 2008-09 growth rate of motor vehicle population was only 9.8 percent. But by 2012-13 it increased to 17%. This unbridled increased in the number of motor vehicles in the context of only a marginal increase in road length has brought to the front serious discussions regarding road safety in Kerala.

This had led to an increasing trend in the number of road accidents in Kerala as can be seen from Table 1.

Table 1

Trends of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Kerala

(2008-09 to 2012-13)

Year Motor Vehicle Accidents
2008-09 36694
2009-10 35633
2010-11 34946
2011-12 35282
2012-13 37204


Source: Economic Review 2013, State Planning Board.

Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, motor vehicle accidents in Kerala increased from 36,694 to 37,204. This means that 102 accidents are taking place on the roads in Kerala everyday. Infact, the increase in the number of motor Cycles/scooters entering the roads of Kerala, every year is breathtaking. In 2008-09, 29,28,226 motor cyclesscooters entered the roads of Kerala. By 2010-11, this number increased to 36,10,838.But by 2012-13, the number of Motor cycles/Scooters which entered the roads of Kerala shot upto 50,41,495, recording an average annual growth rate of 22 percent. Simultaneous with the increase in the number of two wheelers, road accidents involving two wheelers also have been on the rise. While the number of two wheelers increased from 68.7 lakh to 80.48 lakh, the number of accidents involving two wheelers increased four times from 4520 in 2012 to 17870 in 2013. And out of the different category of vehicles involved with road accidents, accidents involving two wheelers contributed 40.05 percent in 2013. Second in the order of preference was motor cars which contributed to 21.08 percent of accidents in 2013. Accidents involving motor cars increased by nearly 5 times, from 2169 to 9470 between 2012 and 2013.


Author:KM Shahjahan

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