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Road Safety in Bangalore

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Traffic

Recent terrorist activities have highlighted our vulnerability, drawing a lot of well deserved attention. But we should not forget that at the same time, other neglected issues continue to cause havoc in everyday life.

Take our traffic for example. We see daily reports of people losing their lives in accidents. Could the loss and suffering of the family of the dead be any different than say those affected by terrorist acts?
 
Each one of us in control of a vehicle can be fatal. And statistics prove that we are. Read this article in arrivesafe.org.
 
Some of the highlights:
Approx 1,00,000 people lost their lives across India during 2007 (something like 270 a day). It cost the country approx $1.16 trillion in 2007. India is one of the worst offenders on earth in terms of traffic related deaths - something like 14 fatalities per 10000 vehicles compared with < 2 in the developed world.
 
In Bangalore alone, approx 900 lost their lives in a year.
 
Have you come across this article - Bangalore: Silicon City or Black City? This small PDF file is a good one on Bangalore traffic accidents. Take a look, it suits typical ‘Praja’ curiosity well. I'll let you slice, dice and analyze the content.
 
More basic question is - How much more drastic does it need to be for someone to take note and start to act? How many more young lives do we want to sacrifice? (According to that data in that report, 8-10% of fatalities were school children!). Mere 10 cr here or 100 cr there is NOT going to solve this. We need a comprehensive solution. But in today's India, such solutions seem to only exist in our dreams.
 
What we get instead is a sign I saw y'day on the always-clogged-main-road in front of a politicos house in Padmanabhanagar – “Parking for VIP vehicles only”.
 
Don't we (and our fellow citizens) deserve better? What can be done?
 
Thanks,
 
Ravi

 

PS: Trying to know more about ArriveSafe, google linked me to this news article on BBC, written by the founder of www.arrivesafe.org. If you have few more minutes, that article is worth a read.

Comments

Ravi_D's picture

This report was discussed...

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Well, just after I posted the entry, Praja's engine came up with this thread in "those who read this" box!

http://praja.in/blog/tarlesubba/2007/12/09/black-city-bangalore

I better get into the habbit of searching Praja before posting....

But the basic questions posed in the post still persist. What can we do?

Ravi

Vasanth's picture

Very much true..

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Most of the accidents are due to negligence 'nothing will happen' and arrogance, as well as the system itself like our intersections, highway system which doesn't have any patroling other than truck holding to collect 'usual'.

Some of the thumb rules I would suggest is:

1. Do not drive on our highways unless until it is very urgent. Fun factor and convenience will result in fatality. You may be excellent driver, but not the opposite side driver.

I see so many rich nowadays mostly IT folks loosing life mostly in car accidents. Middle and lower middle class people travel almost daily between cities and still live so longer since they use trains. Train may be inconvenient for many because of the juglary in stations. Buses are far safer than cars because of its weight, braking and respect given to bus by other vehicles.

2. Avoid 2 wheelers on highways and ring roads. Use buses or cars if travelling through empty ring road sections such as after Silkboard towards HSR, Hosur Road and the international airport road. Use 2 wheelers only through internal city roads.

3. Avoid taking small babies on 2 wheelers unless it is inevitable such as clinic vist late in the night, autos unavailable and those who do not have a car.

4. While walking, it is always recommended to walk in the opposite direction of the traffic to avoid someone hitting from the back.

idontspam's picture

Utility of traffic jam

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Intelligence agencies consider the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bengalaru on December 28, 2005, as one that went horribly wrong for the terrorists. An attack that could have ended with a very high body count went awry because a terrorist with a bagful of grenades was caught in one of Bangalore's nightmarish traffic jams and could not make it to the venue on time.

The shooter, who was waiting at the IISc campus and who was supposed to open fire on the crowd after the planned grenade explosions, lost patience and started firing.

Source

silkboard's picture

That same traffic

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That same traffic which saved 10-20 odd lives from a terrorist incident in this case would actually have killed more than that number of people in a couple of days. 900 traffic accident deaths an year = 75 per month, thats the stat for Bangalore. I dont think the city has lost that many lives due to terrorism in any single year (Touch wood, and Allah/Bhagwan/God willing, it never will).

Recently, I read an interesting article in Business Standard that talked about safety and perceptions. It considered number of lives Delhi loses to road accidents:

"In 2007, Delhi roads witnessed a total of 6,321 accidents, compared with 8,270 in 2006. In each year, about 40 per cent of the accidents were fatal.".

40% of 6231 per year = 2492 fatalities per year = 208 deaths per month. Why did recent Bomb Blasts in Delhi (which I think took less than 100 lives) create much worse safty perceptions?

Chances that you would meet death on the city roads due to an accident are so much higher than meeting that fate via an incident of terrorism. Yet, the bomb blasts etc create much worse safety perceptions than road accidents.

The issue is the use of word "accident". It gives you a feel that these are unaviodable and are not acts of intention. I disagree on both counts, the reason we cary both those perceptions are because there is no clear accountability for deaths on our country's (and city's) roads.

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