Red tape hits road safety | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Red tape hits road safety

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2012 01:02 IST
Subhendu Ray
Subhendu Ray
Hindustan Times
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More people are losing their lives in accidents during night hours — when police presence on roads is thin or nil — in the national Capital. This year till July, a total of 509 persons were killed at night against 474 during the day.

Unfortunately, the traffic police's much-hyped battle against speedsters after dusk seemed to have lost momentum, thanks to the absence of hi-tech devices.

Delhi Police's two ambitious projects — installation of speed cameras and hi-tech interceptors to record the speed of vehicles at night, which were scheduled to be in place by now —have finally been disapproved by the purchase committee of Delhi Police. The committee wants global tenders for both the projects, which, traffic police believe, might take years to materialise.

"Generally, more people are killed in road mishaps during the day when vehicular traffic on roads is much higher than that in night. But the trend has reversed," said a police officer. Of over 2,000 road deaths registered last year, 900-odd were killed in accidents during night.

This emerging trend, say traffic police, cannot be checked unless they adopt new technology. "Motorists tend to speed at night because cops are not on roads. With the help of technology many countries have been able to check road mishaps," said KK Kapila, chairman of International Road Federation.

Early this year following a series of high-speed crashes, the traffic police had planned to mount speed cameras on accident-prone roads. DIMTS, an urban transport and infrastructure services company, had designed an infra-red camera for traffic police. The Delhi Police's technical committee had examined it near terminal 3 of IGI Airport in March and approved it.

The project was supposed to be given to DIMTS to manage and operate it on a turn-key basis. The cameras were to be installed by May at 70 accident-prone locations, including national highways, Ring Road and Outer Ring Road among others. But the purchase committee was reportedly not happy with the deal and it proposed global tenders. The traffic police's plan to procure infrared-based night interceptors met the same fate.

Sudhir Yadav, the special commissioner of traffic police and also head of the purchase committee, admitted that both devices would have helped them curb the menace of speeding at night to a large extent. However, he failed to offer any deadline for floating tenders for the devices.