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Deadly Roads of Bangalore

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EnvironmentTraffic

Bangalore Accident Numbers
Bangalore is the third-most dangerous city in the country when it comes to traffic.

Total killed since 2001: 5631
Total injured since 2001: 46,926
Killed by BMTC buses since 2004: 366
Injured by BMTC buses since 2004: 1478
Killed by BMTC buses in the last 10 months: 97
Injured by BMTC buses in the last 10 months: 288

Some Factors:
Lack of space is an important reason. The city roads can hold only around 8 lakh vehicles, but there are more than 30 lakh vehicles now. Poor quality roads, bad lighting, unmanned junctions, lack of signals, shortage of traffic policemen, motorists’ impatience and utter disregard for traffic rules and inadequate rescue mechanisms only make matters worse.

Another contributing factor to motorists’ indiscipline is lack of fear. Under the Motor Vehicles Act, the transport department can cancel the licence of a motorist if an offence is repeated. But, the rule has remained only on paper. The city traffic police introduced BlackBerrys to identify and come down heavily on repeat offenders. But these have remained ineffective as the traffic police don’t have the database of offending motorists. “Of the 10 Regional Transport Offices in the city, only five are computerised. So, we do not have data of all vehicles registered in the city. Till all the RTOs are computerised, it is difficult for us to identify repeat offenders and take further action,” said a police officer.

The traffic police register around 15 lakh cases of traffic offences every year. This year, till October 31, they have registered 10.78 lakh cases.

Initiatives like one-ways and traffic wardens have been of little help in reducing fatalities.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
Experts feel that all stakeholders — BBMP, transport department and traffic police — should work together; the growth of vehicular population should be halted, mass transport system like the Metro rail and better road transport system should be in place; police should implement traffic laws strictly and the citizens should be more disciplined. “It takes a lot of time for all this to happen. For the time being, motorists have to be more cautious while driving. After all, it’s their life,” said an officer.

What do you guys think?

Sri has been pointing out to the plight of pedestrians time and again. I was thinking, instead of walk bridges which require people to climb initially, how about these pre-fab underpasses for pedestrian crossing?

Source: N D Shiva Kumar, TNN December 6, 2007

Comments

s_yajaman's picture

Predictable response

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Motorists have to be more careful while driving!!! And how many years will we have to wait? Till half of Bangalore is wiped out? I saw this in the Times and it got my goat. We really don't need these sort of suggestions from them. I could go to the various blogsites for them. If the police plead helplessness it is not a pretty state of things. Here is my letter to the TOI on "Big Ideas for Bangalore" "Dear Sir, It was very disappointing to read DCP Ramamurthy's ideas for Bangalore which essentially put all the problems in someone elses court. The police leadership has failed miserably in doing it's job. It has failed every law abiding person (now part of a rapidly dwinding tribe) of Bangalore and the rank and file policemen, who risk their lives and health trying to control the madness. There is not one, I repeat not one, stretch in Bangalore where there is any sort of discipline. The one-ways have made life miserable for the bus commuters and the pedestrians. Take the case of Richmond Road. There is not one stretch from Shoolay Circle till Richmond Circle where a pedestrian can cross safely. Pedestrians also included the senior citizens and children. One should not have to risk life and limb to cross a road. After 10 p.m. people jump lights as if the lights don't even exist. If the police cannot enforce lights, what are they capable of? Switch off the lights then. At least people won't have any illusions about things and will take care. How many people need to die on our roads daily for them to act? The centre of the city is one big free for all. If the police is short staffed, they can at least pick one area of Bangalore and enforce disciple there - lane discipline, traffic lights, etc. ruthlessly for the next 3 months. We have heard enough excuses from them. Let them show they mean business in that one area and then cover more areas. Srivathsa" Tarle - the same thought crossed my mind. Let the traffic go up and down andpedestrians stay at the same level. Many solutions exist. The BBMP is obsessed with expressways and ring roads. They are willing to spend hundreds of crores on elevated roads but claim to have no money to surface roads or maintain pedestrian facilities. The country is slowly but surely becoming "of the elite, by the elite and for the elite". Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

bangalorean's picture

It is the People who have to change

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Time has come for each bangalorean to change himself, and follow some sort of discipline. Untill unless the people donot change, then i donot see an bunch of ******** to change it for u in bangalore, given the mentality of the people who are in power (They are least bothered). But some essentials for these have to be done for eg: 1. Laning of the Road (Marking the lanes on the ROAD so that people have some sort of feeling that there are lanes) 2. Road Dividers which is most important. Remember Motorists and autorishaws and dracula CABS are resposnsible for crossing of lanes overtaking in signals, blocking and choking other side of traffic. 3. Good ROADS, it is a must for smooth traffic. These basic ammenities are very much needed in the long run as pointed out by some very people before. But i see people have to change. May be famous television channles can broadcast programs related to current traffic situation, showing how people are violating traffic laws and how to rectify the same like the famous CRIME DIARY you see. Awareness is a must in bangalore. Many people who are flocking in the city are out of the state who (many a times) donot respect the city and its traffic so education is a must. So i feel it is high time people should change for the good, have more patience and think that 5 min of delay would not cause a huge delay in their daily routine and stop racing on the roads.
s_yajaman's picture

who is going to show them the way

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Bangalorean, I will stay away from the comment about "out of the state". I don't see our own people behave any better. The cab, auto and BMTC drivers are all people from here. I remember reading Mohandas Pai's column on what is needed for Bangalore. It set me thinking on the following lines There are about 100-150 fairly influential people (each having a certain circle of control and influence). The heads of Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Dell, SAP,Intel, TI, Motorola, The Art of Living, principals of the top schools, cricketers, film actors. If each of them told their influencees (for want of a better word) on how each of us can make the traffic better by behaving a bit better would it help? After all each of us makes up the traffic that we curse. Can we at Praja initiate something? Check this link out www.easydriveforum.com. I plan to comment here and leave our website link here. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

design & education

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sri good response to ToI. bangalorean agree both design and education are important. i think it is important to understand why the drivers are so badly educated. #1. i think traffic rules and road safety must be part of high school syllabus. #2. to renew licences they must retake tests. but the basic question is why does the existing testing system fail so badly? take written, get ll, take driving test get dl fail? why is this process corrupted? when it is the same system that works all over the world? this can only be fixed by top police officials only. why should a police official conduct honest tests? that is his job is a poor answer. very few people work like that, even in private companies.
City.Zen's picture

why does the existing testing system fail...

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"why does the existing testing system fail so badly?" Corruption again. A 22-year-old boy told me just last week that he got his car license within a month through an agent of Koramangala RTO. I thought it was the Learner's License first and that the pucca license would not be given until SIX months later. He told me it was the pucca license only. I doubt if he has driven a car for more than 5-10 hours. Should I investigate? City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Agents at RTO, Registrar's offices

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What is the role of agents at our RTO and Registrar's offices? If they are illegal, can we hold the RTO and the Registrar accountable for allowing them to play their role under their jurisdiction? City Zen
City Zen
tsubba's picture

licence

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cityzen i suggest you dont investigate individually. we are not aware of the procedures. but it might be useful to find out how this works what part of it legal and what is not. there must be a reason why people even at the top of police seem unconcerned about it.
s_yajaman's picture

Should that read "License to kill"? :)

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Agree with Tarle. These are very dark and murky waters. If at all we need to use RTI to get some general patterns. E.g. a. What is the procedure to get a driver's license? b. Are there any authorized agents to help a person get a license? Is there a list of agents available? c. What is the procedure that a traffic inspector is supposed to follow while testing a person for a DL? How many minutes does it take? Such questions which are fact based are difficult to dodge. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Thanks, Yajaman

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Thanks, Yajaman Tarle. Actually, I meant investigating how easy really it is to get a driving license. I certainly don't have the stomach to navigate these dark and muddy waters. If licensing is made stricter, as existing abroad, I am sure at least a few lives might be saved. Active use of RTI appears to be the way forward. City Zen
City Zen
namma_nadu's picture

Who's the culprit and who's to police?

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Can i be the change i want to see in the world. Noble thought but difficult to action. While the 'influencer' may work -- we still dont have a 'Gandhi' who can hold sway over the masses in this. But the question that begs an answer : What is the police for if not for policing?? Dammit -- that's their job. If the BBMP workers (i hate to call them Sweepers) do not keep the roads clean : what will you suggest next...we, the road users start cleaning the roads? What if crime increases? we start owning guns to shoot them in "Self defence"..ahem...Though the thought is interesting and nice, Everybody's got a job and they better well do it. The police abdicating their responsibilities -- which is why the 'mob culture' is building up and its only a matter of time when we start seeing the 'burning/looting/rampaging' culture on the streets everyday (remember the rajkumar demise madness on the streets -- what were the cops doing -- nothing as usual). I remember a long time ago -- at Townhall junction coming from JC Road (then it was a 2-way) there was a big board which simply said " FINE FOR JUMPING SIGNAL : Rs.100/- " -- btw -- Rs.100/- was big money then. Not a single commuter would cross the whiteline and wait till the green signal had come on in (And mind you -- there was only one constable for the entire 3 road signal). So, all it needs is one tough cop ( Is there a "Sangliana" in the force today?? ) to bring the fear of god in every commuter. I am ashamed of our traffic mess and believe that its the police who have failed more than anybody else.
blrsri's picture

interesting approach..

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Ghana has the same problem..probably even worse..they are trying radio.. "..Think Straight Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Accra, has embarked on a programme aimed at using music through the electronic media to communicate the disastrous effects of this social menace in the hope that it will engender the needed behavioral change among the entire Ghanaian populace. Radio it is said is ubiquitous. The power of the "darling boy"-radio in transforming and changing society is so enormous." http://allafrica.com/stor...
shas3n's picture

Procedure for obtaining Driving License

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You can get a LL after paying ~50 Rs and in Mysore RTO you are either asked to take a written test or an inspector asks you to identify a few road signs. This 50 Rs is the official fee with receipt and all. Then you have to appear for the full testing AFTER 1 month and BEFORE 6 months of LL. If not, you can renew the LL. For DL testing, you have to pay about 90 Rs officially. An inspector sits with you in the car and takes you around for a few minutes around few blocks. If he is satisfied, a DL is issued. Else you have to appear again for tests by paying 40 Rs each time and the tests cant be closer than a week in between. Well, that is the 'OFFICIAL' procedure. But the Driving Schools and the RTO agents have a whole black-market artificially created there. It is pretty difficult and annoying if not impossible to get a DL if you dont go through an agent. The driving schools each have their own agents. The agent basically helps fill your forms and they have a 'code' that identifies each agent and that is put on an inconspicuous place on the form. Lets say a 'circled S' for agent 'Shivanna'. Then the testing authority knows that this comes from an agent and overly relaxes the testing standards. Unless you go an hit a tree, you can get a DL. The most surprising and ugly thing is, if you are using a driving school vehicle, the instructor can still sit next to you and work the (additional set of) break and clutch. All you have to do is steer and work gas. The inspector at the back seat promptly turns a blind eye. And about the payments, you pay about 500 Rs or so in addition to official fees. An agent told me that the RTO employees all have a share in that 500 Rs so I presume they internally have an auditing system that counts all the 'Circled Ss and Circled Js' etc and devide the money by a point basis (Like in restaurants). Its a sham through through. (All the facts are accurate although I cant obviously identify my sources). -Shastri

-Shastri

Naveen's picture

Traffic Indiscipline

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Hi All. I think the real problem is that there are too many vehicles on the roads, too many drivers & too less road space. The traffic police chief recently mentioned that the city's roads can take about 8-10 lakhs vehicles, but the vehicle population is touching 3 million now. Given these conditions, there are bound to be breakdowns in traffic discipline. Maintaining law & order on roads will be very, very difficult as volumes are simply too huge. The only solution to this problem is to reduce the no. of vehicles, which again bubbles down to finding other means for people to commute & impose disincentives for road vehicles. Educating drivers & curtailing malpractices at RTOs will work within the precints of classrooms & in the confines of offices, but when the drivers are caught up in traffic delays, they will resort to the best options to get to their destinations, & with the current situation, many tend to break rules by driving thro' red or riding on the sidewalks, etc whenever they have an oppurtunity to "speed up" their commute time. This again reinforces the need to urgently provide much more efficient public transport systems. Until such time that these are not in place, the situation will only get worse than it is now as so many more vehicles are added each day.
tsubba's picture

naveen

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educated response. right inline some researchers have found out. i will get back with details. thanks.
Vasanth's picture

Fines with commission to Police Men

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As I discussed earlier, traffic fines should be severe and for catching offender, there should be commission for traffic cop. Percentage of commission should be more for the traffic cop so that he will not take bribe. There should be some special bonus for crossing some milestones such as fining 100 people. This although may be irritating at first to the drivers, people will automatically become disciplined and may start using public transport to avoid the fines. Also, this eliminates the bribe to the policemen, since they get official commission. Right now, traffic police will start checking license only during month ends - necessity is the mother of inventions!!.
Vasanth's picture

How irresponsible our traffic cops are

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On Tuesday 4th December evening, I was crossing the Sagar Apollo traffic signal entering Bannerghatta road from Jayanagar side. On the corner of the signal, there was a small accident - An auto had hit a 2 wheeler on the 2 wheelers back. Mistake was by Auto only as said by everyone standing there and as expected as he was rash and didn't slow down even at the corner. This lead to argument between the two with their vehicles blocking the traffic. A traffic inspector is simply watching as if he is not at all related to it whereas the entire traffic coming from Jayanagar entering Bannerghatta road on the signal is blocked by the auto. I think there needs to be commission even for solving these kind of problems otherwise our cops will behave as if there is no relation to these kind of incidents!!. We see many traffic inspectors with 'Huge Belly' simply sitting on the corner of the road on their sophisticated 180cc Pulsar's while the whole traffic is struck up in jam.
tsubba's picture

N & V

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N & V i cannot agree with you more. that is exactly the problem. what does a traffic cop gain by intevervening positively? or to put it slightly differently what does he lose if he does not intervene positively?
s_yajaman's picture

My response published in today's TOI - for whatever it is worth

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My response to the Big Ideas from the ACP was published in today's TOI. I don't know what will come out of it though. Thought I would let you know Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

cool sri

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congrats sri. read just now. i think you will have to sell hat idea again, then again and then yet again, till it gets sold. mattome magadomme scenario. #1. it has to be made clear to ramamurthy types that hands off approach is not acceptable. #2. because only one big guy has to take the bait. as an aside let me pitch for my fav idea: rationalize lane widths. instead of 3 wide lanes, split the 3 lanes to make 6 1/2-lanes. lane markings are supposed to be guides. wide lanes are useless for small body vehicles like two wheelers, autos and many of the cars even. bigger vehicles to occupy 2 1/2 lanes the rest have to stick to single half lane.

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