The report, which is a compilation of the data provided by state police departments, said these incidents were reported from just eight states with Uttar Pradesh leading the list, followed by Punjab, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. It said Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat reported one fatality each under this category while Arunachal Pradesh reported eight such deaths.
According to the report, a total of 25,585 pedestrians were killed in crashes involving different types of vehicles. Maximum pedestrians were killed by two-wheelers (6,934) followed by cars, taxis and LMVs (6,458).
“This is incorrect data and quite surprising. There cannot be so many pedestrian deaths due to bicycles hitting them. There can be very few such fatalities in hilly areas or in cases where the bicycle handle hit the neck of a pedestrian. But pedestrians can be severely injured in case a speeding cycle hits them,” said T Krishna Prasad, former DGP for Road Safety Authority of Telangana.
Dr Sushma Sagar, professor of trauma surgery at AIIMS, told TOI that they have rarely come across pedestrians getting killed by cyclists as their ability to speed is limited. “There have been fatal cases due to pedestrians getting hit by two-wheelers (scooters and motorcycles), cars, buses and trucks. Bicycle riders are also often victims. There have been cases of bicyclists receiving serious injuries after falling from cycles. There have been cases of bicycle handles hitting the abdomen and impacting the pancreas. This is more in the case of young cyclists,” she said.
A senior official in the road safety cell of a northern state also contested the figures saying there is a high probability that the police departments have inadvertently given such data. “There is a need to screen the data that the Centre receives from states. Wrong data is worse than having no data,” he added.
Responding to whether such data sets have adverse impact on policy making, Krishna Prasad said there is little impact as the main cause of fatalities in crashes such as speeding, drunk driving, driving without wearing helmet and seatbelt should be the focus of policy making. “But we have hardly done anything to address these issues,” he said.