Traffic offences caused by faulty road designs, signals in Delhi
Faulty designs and poor maintenance of infrastructure was two prominent reasons behind drivers “unknowingly” committing traffic violations, president of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) Rohit Baluja said on Thursday.
Baluja said that while the new Motor Vehicles Act was much needed to improve road safety, the law will not yield the intended results unless road infrastructure also conforms to set standards.
“The new law (MV Act) is great in letter and intention. But because several of the traffic signals and signages do not conform to the standards prescribed by the United Nations (UN), drivers commit offences unknowingly,” Baluja said.
Two separate studies conducted by the IRTE in 2007 and 2017 have found that nearly 23% of traffic violations in the national capital are committed on account of faulty roads infrastructure and over 80% of road signage and traffic signals in the city do not conform to the UN Convention of Road Signs and Signals 1968.
For instance, at Safdarjung Road-Prithviraj Road intersection — where former union minister Gopinath Munde died in a road accident — the traffic signal for vehicles taking a turn towards Prithviraj Road changes to red after the green light blinking four times.
The international standards mandate that an amber light should go on before a green light is changed to red to warn drivers to stop. Blinkers are not allowed.
“Apart from faulty signals in many areas of Delhi, the stop lines are not visible and zebra crossings end in obstructions. After our 2017 study, we had done a review of some of the signals that we studied back then and the condition of most of them were found to be the same,” he said.
Delhi Traffic Police data also showed that in 2017, Rs 64.8 crores was collected as fines and 1,584 road accidents were reported. In 2018, however, while the fine collection jumped to Rs 105 crore, the number of fatal accidents too increased to 1,690.
“The number of road accidents should come down if the fines issued are increased. But the numbers do not show that. This means that other things also need to be put in order,” Baluja said.