UNDERSTANDING ROAD ACCIDENT DATA
The information about the occurrence of a road accident is first received, generally, in the Police Control Room. On receipt of this information a PCR ambulance vehicle is despatched to the accident site & information is sent to the concerned police station. An investigating officer is sent by the police station to the road accident site. On the basis of the report of the investigating officer either the FIR (First Information Report) is registered or an entry is made in the daily diary. While FIR is generally registered in case of all fatal accidents yet in case of non-fatal accidents & minor accidents either an FIR is registered or an entry is made in the police station daily-diary (roznamcha). FIR is generally not registered when the accident is not very serious and an on-the-spot compromise has been reached by the concerned parties. Sometimes, FIR may not be registered even in cases where a death has occurred, if no party other than the victim is involved and the accident has occurred entirely due to the fault of the victim. Thus, the incidence of road accidents cannot be studied by relying entirely on FIR figures. The following measures are employed to study the incidence of road accidents:
1. Cases of fatal road accidents where FIR is registered.
2. Cases of fatal road accidents where FIR is not registered (proceedings initiated under section 174 Cr.P.C.).
3. Cases of non-fatal road accidents where FIR is registered.
4. Cases of non-fatal road accidents where FIR is not registered and instead a DDR entry is made (minor road accidents).
5. Number of accident related calls received in the PCR. It is pertinent to mention that given the increasing popularity of mobile phones, a call is received by the Police Control Room almost invariably in every accident providing information about the occurrence. Thus this measure is best suited for estimating the total incidence of road accidents.