Welcome decline in pedestrian fatalities

SRRF which has been actively pursuing pedestrian safety agenda in Delhi is happy to note the reduction in fatal pedestrian accidents during the current year. This year, there appears to be a welcome decline.

 It is a known fact that almost every second person killed in a road accident is a pedestrian.

  • Till the 15th August, 2012, the city roads registered 143 less pedestrian deaths as compared to the same period in 2011.
  • Fatalities have mainly gone down in Ring Road, G T Karnal Road, Rohtak Road, Mathura Road & NH-24.

The Delhi Police claims that the decline in accidents was the result of various scientific measures undertaken with the help of civic agencies. The measures include- setting up of pedestrian signals, speed breakers, speed calming rumble strips, road signage, reduction in speed limit and extensive speed checks of vehicles with the help of interceptors.

The Delhi Traffic Police was successful in reducing road accidents in 2011. While the figure was lowest in 7 years, it still resulted in loss of 2066 lives. This, the Police is confident of bringing it down to below 1800 during the current year.

We all wish them good luck.

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2 Responses to Welcome decline in pedestrian fatalities

  1. V S Gurumani says:

    I want to add one more additional bit to my earlier response.

    Our uncaring and insensitive state, represented by the local administration and police, will not, repeat WILL NOT care for pedestrians, whose plight can never be understood by the decision makers who spend their lives in air conditioned offices and drive around in modern chauffeur driven cars (I hardly see any government officer in anything other than an gleaming new while Honda City these days). The only way this can change is if there is a designated officer in every city (we can begin with the six bigger cities) who will have funds at his/her disposal to actually operationally implement pedestrian friendly measures. There must be at least a dozen of them: foot path modification, demarcation on roads, cuts in dividers, signals, ambulances, emergency numbers, a voluntary force, dedicated police and so on. Believe me, India today does not care for the small man and woman–all the Aam Aadmi talk is only for winning elections. Our problems in cities are compounded by the bleeding hearts of the NAC which dictates all policy and is obsessed only with rural India, when most recent studies show that the situation of the poor and marginalized in India is worse than those in the villages.

  2. V S Gurumani says:

    More details are required on the comparative figures. A reduction of 143 on a base of 2000 will not be significant, but if last year it was 500 and this year, it is 357, it is good. There is a larger advocacy issue as well: since the registration charges for vehicles is a state subject, and Delhi and its citizens (especially the pedestrians) have the challenge of daily addition to the vehicle population in excess of 1000, there is a need to restore some sense of balance between vehicle owners and drivers. A practical way to do this will be to ask: what do we need to do for pedestrians (and cyclists) and how much will it cost? This may involve: designating pedestrian crossings, installing signals, doing up foot paths, especially in high traffic areas, figuring out busy crossings and decongesting them, investing in volunteers or policemen, ensuring visual demarcation to help pedestrians who are often confused about where they can cross, pedestrian and driver education and so on. It is fair to say that vehicle owners should pay for this. Is there any reason why when I buy a vehicle, I pay only a one time registration fee? To my knowledge, this is miniscule, of between 2 and 3% of vehicle cost over the life of the vehicle, which in India can be 20 years or at least a decade. That translates to less than 0.2% per annum! All this for vehicles which are growing ever bigger–and offensive–to carry just a couple of passengers most of the time. We should advocate for a budget to be worked out together with its deployment and then lobby the Delhi government to revise the vehicle registration process to recover the costs of the budget for the vehicle owners. There is also no reason why drivers should pay only a one time fee for their licence. They should be charged annually, with a higher up front fee. I hope the readers of this blog feel this is worthy of further debate, to counter the power of the auto lobby in this country!

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