Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car Companies should come forward to help improving Delhi Traffic

Somebody asked me 2 days back to describe the problems I am facing living in India,I just replied expeditiously that “Traffic and Pollution is on top of my listand I am sure everyone at least who lives in metro city like Delhi must be facing the same. But the biggest problem with us is that we always curse India/Govt. for such issues. And this is wrong it’s not always the govt. to be blamed for, it’s equally “You” and “Me” “We have to stop it by ourselves”. You all may have experienced and seen many times on roads that people like to break the lane system (common form of traffic violation) and I am sure most of us don’t even know what the lane system is. We never hesitate to overtake other vehicles from left side which is illegal. And also sometimes it’s often happened to see on Delhi roads that people block the left turn even when it is free and some fools park their cars just before the red lights which makes that road more congested. It’s just indicating “City lack traffic sense”.

As I always mention in my articles that “Everyone is responsible for road safety so each should be educated by traffic rules and laws” However DTP have already been making efforts for spreading traffic safety materials/tips through organizing various programs, exhibitions, shows etc. But I am amazingly glad to know that our Delhi got a helping hand i.e. a Car Company Hyundai Motor India also helping in this regards and introduced a road safety program in 2006 known as “Hundai Traffic Squad” in association with Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) and Institute of Road Traffic Education. Its primary aim is to infuse awareness of traffic rules and regulations. It is a student traffic volunteer scholarship scheme under which young college and university students are trained and imparted knowledge about signaling, traffic control devices, road laws, types of road users and driving. They help the police in management of traffic for about three hours during peak hours because during these hours people rush to go home can cause pedestrian crashes and also help bus drivers and passengers at the bus stops by preventing overcrowding and jostling while boarding. I really appreciate this idea of Hyundai to educate people about traffic rules and regulations. This will not only make people aware but also enforce them to maintain road discipline by following traffic rules. These efforts may not solve the all problems but somewhere certainly help in improving road safety. Apart from Delhi, Hyundai is further thinking to initiate a similar scheme in other metro cities like Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Providing information is a benefit only if it is organized, processed and available in a proper way to the people and the same is what Hyundai is doing. I would suggest like Hyundai other car/automobiles companies (Tata Motors, Maruti Udhyog, Toyota and Hindustan Motors) should also come forward to improve Delhi traffic by promoting traffic awareness for road safety. Organizing road safety programs such as driving training, driver behavior can help in reducing accidents and control driver performance (cause high risk crashes). Books donation can also be a new creative tool to spread info. This in turn can provide a platform to conduct behavioral studies about the drivers which could be useful for new automobile designs. The Advertising mileage is an extra dividend that they get.

Recently 120 university students joined traffic volunteer’s scheme for 2010-11 and will support DTP during Commonwealth Games. It’s primary aim to assist traffic police during peak hours in traffic management and road user education. Walking/driving safely means we are being aware of traffic rules and laws. We should act before the situation becomes grave and we are left to contrite.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Speed limits on our roads and streets

“Breaking any law usually leads to unpleasant consequences but breaking a law related to speeding can lead to many consequences”Few days ago I saw a shattering news while reading newspaper that a child died after being hit by a car driven by a man who was driving very rashly at the speed of 80 km/h. Did I mention that he was driving in a street in residential area where a speed limit sign was also available? Shocked? even I was. I want to narrate a story that happened in front of my eyes. These three guys in their early twenties were riding a scooter on busy streets. They were at high speed (must be 60 something) and top of their Hooligan self when they crossed me. After a few seconds I watched them skid, fell down and surrounded by public. It took me roughly 2 minutes when I reached near them and saw that they skid because of sudden breaks they had to apply to save kids playing in the street. Yet they stopped only inches away from the kids. Now how safe is this?

What I can not understand is why people drive so fast crossing speed limit? Is it the excitement or impression of being good driver or fear of getting late to work (or to home). Whatever be the reason but the same reasons can put people in danger. So here primary concern is about the safety of the public including the driver from speed causing accidents. We all must understand that vehicles on the roads are allowed to run under a ceiling of speed limit.

However in India the idea and implementation of speed limit looks like an alienated concept. The authorized body has fixed maximum speed limits for different classes of vehicles at a national level like within town it is 50 km/h, for highways it is 80 km/h and there is no limit defined for expressways. The maximum speed limit for rural inner state is 90 Km/h. As speed vary by state and vehicle type so Delhi govt. has also fixed 60 km/h for light motor vehicles like cars/jeep/autorikhshaws etc. and 40 km/h for all heavy motor/transport vehicles including TSRs. According to ASP (Traffic) N S Ahlawat, the idea behind this is to ensure smooth flow of traffic and safety of the pedestrians. Not only this, to regulate the speed of motor vehicles on the roads of NCT of Delhi, Mr. Prabhakar (Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic Headquarters) been dictated speed limit of vehicles on the city roads. Know more about these speed limits here. There can be debates on whether these limits are right or not but before that we should abide by these limits.

Well Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) already is enforcing these limits by using cameras integrated with radar devices to snap the picture and license plate info and by putting Speed Limit Signs on the road sides. DTP is also in process of procuring night speed radar guns. These will help to catch motorists for speeding even after sunset, though the same is expected to be introduced only after Commonwealth Games in Delhi. One thing that I have found missing here is proper communication of these limits to the general public. How many of you knew about these limits prior to reading this post. The proper signage need to be put up not only the roads but on major streets as well. The drives for educating the public and enforcing law need to be taken up by the Delhi traffic police. We should not forget the streets when enforcing this law specifically because many such accidents happen on the streets. But above all enforcements we the drivers will have to understand and take the oath to drive sensibly. I would love to hear your input about this.
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