Scientific speed management needed to reduce road fatalities: IIT KGP

IIT Kharagpur has recommended nationwide scientific and uniform speed management to reduce fatal road accidents.

The institute, in a policy document, recommended the formation of state and district road safety councils comprising various departments, the scientific setting of speed limits and the erection of road signs, engineering initiatives, the audit of existing speed management measures, the study of accidents, speed monitoring, strict application of directives and public awareness of road safety.

Recommendations to the Government of West Bengal

IIT Kharagpur has recently submitted its recommendations to the government of West Bengal and it has accepted the suggestions in principle, but there is a need to implement them nationally and uniformly, said Professor Bhargab Maitra from the Civil Engineering Department of the institute, which led a team of professors in formulating the document, PTI said Sunday.

“We have made recommendations based on road geometry, traffic characteristics and roadside environment. While there are several Indian Roads Congress (IRC) guidelines which can be followed for better management of traffic, the lack of a comprehensive and uniform speed management policy is a significant concern in the Indian context,” he said.

The paper observed that a majority of road sections in the country, both in urban and rural areas, have mixed traffic, lack of lane discipline, uncontrolled access, development and curbside activities. road and a significant share of vulnerable road users.

It is necessary to limit speed limits near potentially risky areas such as commercial areas, schools and hospitals. A few sections have wide paved shoulders, median barriers, sufficient open areas, access roads, good alignment and intersection treatments, which are important technical aspects to ensure road safety.

“Therefore, implementation of the recommendations of IIT Kharagpur will be beneficial with the massive road development taking place across the country,” he said. Maitra, citing statistics from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), said speeding caused more than 72% of road accidents and 69% of road traffic fatalities in 2020.

Data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Roads

“Road accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in India, which leads the world in number of deaths from such accidents,” he said and added that 4.5 lakh of road accidents took place in 2019, resulting in over 1.51 lakh fatalities.

Despite Covid-induced restrictions on road travel, the crash severity value (people killed per 100 crashes) was 36 in 2020, down from 33.7 in 2019.

“In addition to creating huge social causes for families, road accidents take a heavy toll on health services and the national economy,” he said.

In 2021, MoRTH proposed a 50% reduction in road crashes and fatalities by 2024. “Speed ​​management can reduce the severity of road crashes. Keeping in mind the reality of traffic on Indian roads, reviewing and setting appropriate speed limits is essential to improve road safety,” he added.

Published on

July 10, 2022

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