Road safety action plan

More than 700 people died in accidents in Bengaluru last year. What did the city traffic police learn from these incidents? How did they analyse and evaluate them to formulate better strategies to avoid more such accidents?

Now, these are critical questions that take for granted that the core data on accidents, traffic and road data is readily available for analysis and evaluation. This is not the case, but the traffic police have started the process with two pilot projects on accident and crash data. Also in the pipeline is a Tablet-based App to facilitate this data collection.

Based on this data, the police have proposed to draft a Road Safety Action Plan ready for implementation in three years. It has also been proposed that Road Safety concepts should be included in any drafts or amendments to land use plans. But for this, the concepts themselves will have to be first defined on a scientific level.

To ensure success of the plan, the police have identified enforcement of strong road safety laws pertaining to key risk factors, speed, drink-driving, helmets and seat-belts. Enhancement of traffic fines is another key measure suggested.

The Plan would also focus on developing a ‘road safety culture’ with specific focus on children. Improving qulaity of driving test is identified as another critical factor. Raised pedestrian crossings, dedicated cycle and bus lanes, and a quick and efficient post-accident caring system would be also part of the Plan.

Based on the frequency of accidents, the police had identified many blackspots in the City. But, since accidents are highly unpredictable, the location of these blackspots become very volatile. The police feel that Accident Blackspot Mitigation should become a continuous programme and feature in all the stake holders’ agenda and budgets.
*  Two-wheeler riders, in the age group of 19-35 years, continue to lead the overall accident picture, followed by car drivers.

*  Accidents are increasingly happening over the weekends, especially during morning and evening peak hours and late night hours.

*  About 18 per cent of the total casualties reported are pedestrians, followed by two-wheeler riders (40 per cent) and are categorised as Vulnerable Road Users.

*  Poor road engineering and quality are critical factors that trigger accidents. Frequent curves and changes in gradient, for instance, are associated with accident spots.

*  Unscientific location of bus stops is another major problem that triggers rush of passengers in high traffic areas, endangering lives.

* Vehicles, private or commercial, often tend to be parked on the carriageway and at the intersections, creating hazardous situations that invite accidents.

*  Vehicles entering and exiting petrol and diesel outlets alongside roads have often caused accidents. Abrupt turns, particularly at breaks by such vehicles have been hazardous

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