Monday, October 29, 2007

Towards safer roads

Towards safer roads
Nina C George
For once the powers that be have paused and reflected on how to make the City roads safe for motorists.

Thanks to their intervention, by November-end more than 70,000 reflectors of all shapes and sizes will be erected on the medians of all major thoroughfares in prime areas.

Besides, the medians themselves will get a face-lift.

Alarmed by the spiraling instances of accidents at the medians, the City police are undertaking this project under the B-TRAC 2010 programme on a priority basis. In the first phase, 10,000 different kinds of reflectors will be installed on the major roads across all the 35 traffic police jurisdictions in the City.

According to sources in the Traffic Management cell of the BBMP, median stretches totally spanning a length of about 10 km will be built on different roads. Each of them will be eight inches tall and 12 inches wide. The entire project will cost Rs 55 lakh.

According to Sanjeev Kumar B H, a traffic management consultant with the Karnataka Road Development Corporation and also part of the B-TRAC 2010 programme "reflectors, the reason for erecting them is to improve the visibility and make the medians more prominent for road users during the night and in rainy weather," Sanjeev says. Instances of several vehicles ramming into medians erected unscientifically sans any warning signs are commonplace in City. Most of them lack proper reflectors. The police claim to have no separate records of accidents at the medians, they are in the process of putting together a road accident analysis system so that accidents can be categorised and quantified on grounds of causes, says Sanjeev.

According to sources in the police department, lack of proper street lighting and rash driving are the two main reasons for accidents at the median. “Tenders for the installation of reflectors and construction of medians have already been issued. The work will be completed by November end. We are waiting for the rain to end to start work," says Additional Commissioner of Police and Commissioner Traffic and Road Safety K C Ramamurthy. The police department has placed an order for nearly 20,000 red cat eyes, 30,000 yellow and whites eyes, 500 blinkers, 10,000 reflective covers and 17,000 cones. These road safety furniture will be placed along the medians and cones will double up as dividers as well. Tubular cones are being installed on medians that are less than 0.5 meters wide.

Traffic experts believe that medians meant for safety of road users, themselves often end up causing fatal accidents. They aver that though medians are painted, dust and dirt deposits make them invisible on the road.

There are no reflectors placed at the beginning and end of each median. The vehicles lose control and skid and sometimes drive over the median itself. "The cones are stolen by ragpickers who make good money by selling them. Instead of narrow median and cones, a wide stretch of greenery as road separators would be a better idea. The City requires reflectors at 38,000 junctions, each costing nothing less than Rs 1,500. This is unaffordable," Prof M N Sreehari, Traffic Expert and Advisor and Chairman Engineers and Safety Trainer.

New reflectors and refurbished medians will be erected at Hosur Road, R V Road, Basappa Circle, Deve Gowda Road, Jayamahal Road and Banaswadi main road to mention a few.


Post a Comment

<< Home