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Pedestrian deaths a cause of alarm

This year, traffic police plan to introduce special speed-reducing strips to check road deaths. Jatin Anand reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2012 01:49 IST
Jatin Anand
Jatin Anand
Hindustan Times

Though police commissioner BK Gupta praised his traffic department for bringing down fatalities on Delhi’s roads in 2011, the loss of around 946 lives of pedestrians in road accidents last year has actually alarmed the police.

The police believe the overall loss of 2066 lives in road accidents, though the lowest in the last seven years, could have been kept below 2000 had there been adequate pedestrian facilities in place.

“Almost every second person killed in road accidents was a pedestrian, which is really alarming,” BS Bassi, special commissioner of police (traffic), said.

Keeping in mind the safety of pedestrians — the most vulnerable to road accidents —on Delhi roads, the police have decided to install unique speed checking strips before certain important accident-prone zebra crossings on New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Public Works Department (PWD) roads.

These strips — once installed — would reduce pedestrian fatalities at least by 20%, traffic police officials claim.

“Initially, such speed calming strips would be installed before certain wide and high speed pedestrian crossings and zebra crossings,” Bassi told HT.

These are scientifically designed strips that will cause vibration in a vehicle and reduce its speed by increasing friction. On a speedy and wide corridor, a vehicle plying at a high speed will automatically lose speed and by the time it reaches a pedestrian or zebra crossing, it will be able to come to a halt.

“As a traffic manager, it is important for us to create a safe environment for even a not-so-careful pedestrian or a pedestrian incapable of optimally reacting towards road safety due to factors like age and health conditions,” Bassi said.

The police have felt that installation of signalized pedestrian crossings or demarcation of zebra crossings or even installation of speed breakers or high rumble strips would not be adequate to restrict accidents of pedestrians.

This arrangement at pedestrian and zebra crossings would provide safe crossover facilities to pedestrians and reduce their vulnerability to road accidents, Bassi said adding “Action has already been initiated by NDMC. PWD is also examining our recommendations and will soon take appropriate action at their end.”

First Published: Jan 07, 2012 00:27 IST