Convergence of capabilities of different agencies is needed to improve road safety in view of the chaotic traffic conditions in cities like Delhi, Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna said here on Monday.
“Engineering capabilities of various agencies, like the traffic department and the civic agencies, need to be brought together and we can definitely make a coordinated effort to change the chaotic scenario,” Khanna said at a seminar on ‘Road Safety Investment in India’.
New York has more than 11,000 signalised traffic intersections whereas Delhi has only about 650 such signalised traffic intersections, Khanna said. “It is quite possible to monitor traffic movement at any given time,” he said and expressed happiness that Delhi Traffic Police has been carrying out real time traffic management with CCTVs etc.
The seminar, organised by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) and Commission for Global Road Safety, and supported by the Department of Road Transport and Highways, was organised with an aim to have an effective exchange of ideas for developing strategy and guidelines for road safety investments.
IRTE president Rohit Baluja said it was unfortunate that capacity building is never given a thought while designing traffic management programmes. He suggested the foundation — traffic engineering, accident investigation, driver training and assessment and traffic enforcement — be strengthened first.
Apart from the experts from fields like transport, traffic police, road research agencies and even the Army, secretary of the Commission for Global Safety and executive member of the United Nations Global Road Safety Collaboration David Ward and Dr Raman Patel from New York were present for the deliberations.
The participating experts agreed that road safety has never figured in the priority list during planning or funding for transport or infrastructure. The other suggestions included investing in drivers’ education; giving priority to pedestrians in planning; setting up of an accident investigation and analysing centre in each state and strict penalties/punishment by judiciary against drunk drivers among others.