Wednesday , 20 March 2019

How Safe are we on Our Roads?

New software technologies are available for traffic police: Ali Razvi , Managing Director, Reckon Security Systems (P) Ltd

Road safety is the result of contributing efforts from all the sectors of the society including both civilians and Government officials. New road safety developments like traffic control and management can be enhanced with the introduction of more classic, brilliant and reflective road signs that can be seen by all motorists from long distance at any time of the day, irrespective of the weather condition. The display of intelligent transportation communication system, video application for transit and transport, toll-road administration, fare collection system, turnstiles and boom barriers for persons and vehicles are some other available solutions. There is a range of new reflective sheeting and printed signs which is specially made in Italy. The former is made of a retro reflective adhesive material covered with a transparent or coloured coating which gives excellent protection to the product against outdoor conditions such as rain, UV rays and hot temperature. There are also new equipment signs for emergency, fire outbreaks and evacuation.

There are new software technologies and security instrument for traffic policemen to enhance their work on road safety and adequate control of delinquents. Also, there are new portable flexible triangle signs that need no excuse for any driver to drive without taken it along. There is also display of Glass Bead System for wet roadways. These glass beads will help in brightening wet roadways with optimal reflectivity and visibility, especially in the night. These beads ensure high levels of retro-reflectivity, even in rain or wet conditions. So, solutions and technologies are available in abundance. The Government and the solution providers can work on: Development and implementation of effective solutions for road safety policies; Accountability in meeting road safety objectives and to ensure the effective use of resources; Funds for road safety programmes; Taking a leading role in coordinating the road safety effort of all relevant agencies and community groups within their particular administrative area (These activities should be consistent with the National Road Safety Plan, and they must coordinate activities across all relevant agencies in that geographic area); Ensure that planning of local facilities and residential areas effectively takes account of the road safety needs of the community; and Where possible, fund and implement road safety programmes and initiatives.

The decision makers, on their part, must take immediate decisions on the implementation of the road safety and security solutions.

Use indigenised products that are suitable for Indian tropical conditions: Vijay Acharya, Director, Trafitronics

For proper road safety and security, latest LED based traffic signals with countdown timers should be provided. A countdown timer gives a fair idea about start and stop timing. This reduces uncertainty at the traffic signal junctions. Pedestrian signals help public to cross the roads safely. Prominent zebra crossing creates a confidence among the pedestrians.

Many cities have power (electricity) shortage. In that case, a hybrid system using solar power is much useful. To have uninterrupted traffic signaling, solar based blinkers in between two junctions on small crossings are much useful as the drivers take extra precautions at such junctions. This helps in avoiding accidents.

While achieving the above, one should keep in mind to use indigenised products suitable for Indian tropical condition. They should be repairable at nominal cost. Many Chinese and European traffic-signaling products are non-repairable.

THE ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SAY:

We have not kept pace with technology: Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police ? Traffic, Delhi

As against the all India figures, in Delhi accidents and deaths have been on the decline since 2009 when the figure stood at 2,272 accidents and 2,325

deaths on roads. It came down to 2,104 and 2,153 respectively in 2010 and further to 2,007 and 2,066 in 2011. This year, over and above the reduction in the previous two years, we have further 18% decline. This way, we have made a major impact on road safety.

We need to tighten our laws urgently. The present penalty and fine structure which came in existence in 1988 has become totally outdated and ineffective. We need stringent penalty structure for traffic violations. When we did so during Commonwealth Games-2010, the result was there for everyone to see. There would be all round improvement of traffic scenario and better discipline among road users if laws are tougher and enforcement is uniform, strict and without exception. We lack discipline because we have very weak penalty structure for traffic offences.

Technology has not failed us, rather we have not kept pace with the technology available for road safety. Even in metropolitan cities, the role of technology is minimal and the roads are not what they should be. The Intelligent Transportation Systems and CCTV coverage ? which is elementary in all metropolitan cities in the world — are at the elementary stage in our cities as are the enforcement mechanisms like e-challan and database of drivers and vehicles. Even today in almost all the cities in the country we don?t have digitisation of traffic offences. For road safety, we need ITS, enforcement cameras like red speed cameras, speed cameras and other devices but technology can assist only when the laws are strict.

We must quickly establish good systems with regard to the issuance of driving licences and fitness certificates, traffic management systems including ITS and enforcement devices, parking management, infrastructure creation, public transport, better laws and many related things.

While the enforcement agencies expect state-of-the-art traffic management systems from solution providers, the solution providers should hope that the decision makers ensure strict laws for the road users and strict implementation of these road rules. Induction of technology must be assured for traffic management and enforcement. What is also important is better coordination among various agencies responsible for road safety.

In Delhi, we could improve road safety and reduce accidents by intensive action against drunken driving, over speeding, dangerous driving and regulating and disciplining commercial vehicles, particularly at night. Since 2010, there have been jail terms for drunken driving. This year, in 2012, as many as 5,304 offenders have been given jail terms for drunken driving while 916 persons have got their driving licences suspended. Massive prosecution for over-speeding, road specific interventions on roads which had high number of accidents, speed calming measures, better safety for pedestrians and overall better traffic management are resulting in better road safety in Delhi. We need to continue the good work of the last three years.

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