It may soon be safer to pedal around Delhi. The Capital registers about 100 deaths every year due to accidents involving bicycles. But before the end of this month, the status quo may change.
A much-awaited decision on the proposal for mandatory installation of retro-reflective tapes on bicycles is expected to be taken at a high-level meeting in Ludhiana on August 19.
If use of retro-reflective tapes becomes mandatory, it would make bicycles a safer mode of transportation on busy city roads during late hours, feels KK Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).
The IRF, on the direction of the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), ministry of commerce and industries, had sent the proposal to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for technical evaluation in March this year.
HT had reported this in its edition dated June 13.
After technically evaluating the proposal for about two months, the BIS is now ready with its findings.
“On August 19, we will place our findings before the industry. After that, the industry will take a final call,” said Paramjit Singh, chairman, BIS Committee (R&D Centre for bicycle and sewing machine).
“In the meeting, we will make a presentation on the need for using retro-reflective tapes in bicycles. We are hopeful that the proposal will be accepted and installation of such tapes in bicycles will become mandatory,” said Kapila.
The government is keen to make the use of reflective tapes in cycles mandatory, said an official of DIPP.
The matter has already been discussed with cycle manufacturing majors and All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association.
The Delhi traffic police also want bicycles to be made prominently visible in dark.
“One of the major reasons for accidents involving bicycles is poor visibility at night,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
According to the proposal, the tapes will be fixed on several parts of a bicycle — white tape on front lamp bracket, red tape on rear mud guard and yellow tape on seat stay and front fork.