Monday, January 26, 2009

How safe is NICE road?

How safe is NICE road?
DH News Service,Bangalore:
The accident in which four morning walkers were killed in Indiranagar has raised several uncomfortable questions about speeding on Bangalore roads. Eyewitnesses say that the accident occured since the driver was overspeeding.

Eyewitnesses say that the accident occured since the driver was overspeeding.
One road that is vulnerable to accidents due to speeding is the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) road. Despite the conspicuous absence of emergency services, the promoters of the road claim that traffic on the road is regulated, leaving very little scope for speeding.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Manjunath, a spokesperson for NICE, said, “Our roads are as safe as can get. They are completely access-controlled, with no right turns or intersections. There are only seven entry and exit points, all of which are not conducive to speeding, due to the presence of toll booths.”
The NICE corridor is grade separated, and contains underpasses and overpasses every few kilometres for the smooth passage of vehicles that change course.
NICE officials claim that in addition to these features, there are 24 patrolling vehicles that regulate traffic in the corridor, and tow-trucks to ensure clearing up of the roads. NICE also reportedly owns four fully-equipped ambulances that can be deployed during accidents.
However, some regular users say that the road is not as safe as it is made out to be. There are several stretches along the corridor that have porous boundaries - allowing cattle and other animals to stray onto the road. The corridor also has some steep unscientific gradients, with poor visibility. As if to stand testimony to this, the corridor does have stains of a bloody past - with a few lives lost. By the NICE official’s own admission, there were fatal accidents on the corridor in its initial days. “Initially, due to unregulated traffic, there were a few fatalities. But I can safely say that no major accidents have taken place in the recent past,” said Manjunath.


The death of four pedestrians on the 100-ft road, Indiranagar, seems to have had little impact on the other pedestrians - barely a day after the accident, pedestrians were still jay-walking on the roads, instead of using the footpath.
At the spot where the accident took place, several pedestrians were seen carelessly walking bang in the middle of the road.
They did not seem to be bothered by the heavy movement of vehicles.
Very close to the spot, a cyclist was riding in the opposite direction.


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