The Action Plan Dealing with Road Safety Challenges in India
Did you know that in 2019, India had an average of 414 deaths per day, placing it first in the global rankings of total road accident deaths, with a share of around 11%?
Over the last few years, the number of fatalities on Indian highways and in cities has increased. Traffic on the road has increased significantly as a result of increased urbanisation, motorization, and migration, resulting in road accidents, deaths, congestion, and road safety issues.
All substantial researchers have focussed on the five E’s of road safety (the thrust and foundation principles for accident prevention): Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Engineering.
These five Es would be discussed in greater detail later. To understand these five principles, it is necessary to first understand the challenges that road safety engineering faces.
Road Safety Challenges:
1. Safe Road Transport System
Road accidents are perceived as “silent disasters” by the road safety engineering and consulting engineering communities. Every year, a large number of people are killed or injured as a result of poor road transportation systems in various parts of India. Congestion caused by dense population areas is one of the major challenges for road safety engineering in India. The balance between the number of vehicles sold and the total area of available road transport is somehow lost, resulting in horrifying road accidents.
2. Shortage of Road Engineers & Traffic Engineers
With the increasing number of fatal road accidents, the Public Welfare Department (PWD) must take on the responsibility of appointing traffic engineers who can find solutions. Similarly, more road engineers are needed in India to address the various road transport issues that exist in both rural and urban areas.
3. Unavailability of Accurate Accident Data
In any given year, innumerable accidents occur in India for which no data or explanation is available. Hundreds of people are killed, and their family members are left in the dark about why and how their loved ones died. It is the responsibility of local governing bodies to investigate the matter and delve deep to determine the root cause of fatal accidents or even routine traffic congestion in a specific area.
The first step of the five Es principles is to raise awareness, educate the public, and learn how to implement appropriate road safety measures. Various campaigns, seminars, print media, and other methods can be used to raise awareness. The government has taken several steps to increase public awareness of road safety, including the use of media, banners, and roadside paintings, among other things.
It is critical to encourage people to follow rules and regulations in order to maintain road safety. Encouraging people to participate in public road safety and traffic control campaigns, projects, or events that benefit them.
The enforcement of provisions under various legal acts and rules assists the government in regulating and improving road safety measures throughout the country. It is the government’s responsibility to enforce as well as make people aware of these provisions..
The Indian government has issued a detailed guideline based on the specifications and design engineering measures to be followed when embarking on any project. These have been shown to be beneficial and have improved road safety, resulting in fewer accidents and the maintenance of social behaviour while driving.
To reduce road accidents, the government intends to enact strict laws, develop emergency care services, and establish new digital assistance platforms. Apps, digital technology platforms based on road safety, and road safety engineering can all be developed and implemented using apps.
Road Safety Engineering:
It is a process that includes traffic and road safety information analysis, which is then applied to engineering principles during road design, traffic management, and structure implementation processes.
Road safety engineering contributes to the safety of road networks by addressing the following issues:
- Collision rate: A comparison of the frequency of collision occurrences with the recurrent location, trend, and casualty statistics.
- Accident prevention: A best practise in accident prevention is implemented by the road engineering plan to ensure that the analysis done during the collision rate and the steps taken during accident reduction are correctly set up during this stage – resulting in almost no accidents.
So far, we ’ve witnessed how there is a lack of precautionary measures taken to ensure road safety in India. It is necessary to conduct regular road safety audits in order to discuss current and potential issues that may arise as a result of poor road transportation systems. Furthermore, there is a need to rank major road development projects based on their safety performance over time. This will not only help to reduce the number of fatalities caused by road accidents, but it will also help to establish order and security for everyone who uses road transportation.