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Beware of Delhi drivers

The number of fatal accidents caused due to reasons categorised as ‘self’ has gone up to 5.26 per cent this year (up to November 15) compared to 4.17 per cent in 2007, reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Dec 05, 2008 12:35 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

If the latest data available with Delhi Traffic Police is any indication, most Delhi drivers may be a menace on the roads.

The number of fatal accidents caused due to reasons categorised as ‘self’ has gone up to 5.26 per cent this year (up to November 15) compared to 4.17 per cent in 2007.

A detailed analysis of ‘causes’ has thrown up a picture that should send alarm bells ringing for any sane driver, said traffic officials.

“Of 2,204 causes listed for these fatal accidents, a whopping 1,120 were cases of ‘driver's fault’ (like red light jumping or driving on the wrong side); 18 were drunken driving and 372 over speeding,” an official added.

Are the efforts by

traffic police enough?

The Delhi Traffic Police already carries out road safety activities and conducts drives to create awareness among Delhi drivers.

“We put advertisements in newspapers and other media. But the need is to inculcate basic road sense, training for which should start at a young age,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S.N. Shrivastava.

The Delhi government has now agreed to include road safety as a subject from school level. This will go a long way, Shrivastava said.

“The fine amount should also be substantially higher so as to prove a deterrent for violators,” he added.

Road engineering:

Environment failure including road engineering faults can be attributed as the second major cause for road accidents.

According to an all India study by Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in 2007, of the total 14.6 crore violations per day, a whopping 3.3 crore were due to environment failure.

“Driving habits are dependent on traffic/road engineering too. Road users’ culture will degenerate if these are not taken care of,” said IRTE President Rohit Baluja.

Whenever any accident occurs, a scientific investigation needs to be carried out. “The data thus collected needs to be shared with road agencies for corrective measures,” Baluja added.

Delhi Traffic Police already has a hotline with civic agencies and a Traffic Management Coordinating Desk.

Recently functional is a ‘Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure [Planning & Engineering] Centre’, which aims for a unified umbrella for an integrated approach all things related to traffic transportation.