Increased accidents have raised many concerns about safety of pedestrians | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Increased accidents have raised many concerns about safety of pedestrians

At present we can see that the city roads are becoming wider and wider. Such roads encourage high-speed driving which is a major cause for road accidents, says Harshad Abhyankar.

pune Updated: Jul 15, 2017 14:07 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Harshad Abhyankar is the coordinator for policy advocacy, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Pune
Harshad Abhyankar is the coordinator for policy advocacy, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Pune (HT PHOTO)

Pune's roads have since long been designed to cater to a rising number of vehicles on the streets, especially private vehicles.This has resulted in a phenomenal growth of these vehicles on the streets of Pune. The speed of vehicles in recent years has also gone up considerably. Today, increasing road accidents have raised several concerns about the safety of city roads for cyclists, pedestrians and also vehicle drivers.

When contacted, city-based activists raised several concerns about the present road safety scenario. Harshad Abhyankar, Coordinator, Policy Advocacy, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Pune said, "At present we can see that the city roads are becoming wider and wider. Such roads encourage high-speed driving which is a major cause for road accidents." 

Abhyankar stated that it can be seen that the emphasis while designing roads is solely on assisting maximum vehicular movement and there is no consideration given to cyclists or pedestrians, which is adding to problems of unsafe rods. "At present our roads have lanes that are 3 metres, 3.5 metres or even wider. Such wide lanes should not be encouraged. Narrow lanes help in bringing down the speed of vehicles which is important," he added. 

Abhyankar stated that to further control the speed of vehicles up to a permissible limit, pedestrian crossings at regular intervals must be constructed. "These pedestrian crossing should be visible. Also there must be a raised platform for pedestrian crossings. This would make vehicles slow down at the crossing and they will not speed on city roads," he added. 

Abhyankar also raised the issue of a larger radius at the turning points of roads. He said that vehicles are driven at speed on the turnings which is not safe for the drivers and can cause accidents. 

Apart from the road design, Abhyankar also stressed on the need for more enforcement and strict tests to be conducted before driving licences are issued. 

"The driving skills of drivers need to be improved. For this the focus should be on improving the training of drivers. The current licencing system is not strict enough and changes can to made to this system to ensure that people with unsafe driving skills do not get a driver's licence," he added.