Government Introduces Dedicated Two-Wheeler Lanes and Overpasses in Effort to Decrease Road Accidents

  • By Admin
  • 07-06-2024

Road safety is a critical issue in India, given the consistently high incidence of road accidents and fatalities. Two-wheelers are involved in nearly 44% of road crashes, while pedestrians make up around 17%, highlighting the urgent need for effective solutions. Recognizing this issue, the government is developing a comprehensive plan to address road safety challenges.

Government's New Road Safety Initiative

The Road Transport Ministry is spearheading a new initiative with a focus on enhancing road safety for vulnerable road users (VRUs) like two-wheeler riders and pedestrians. This initiative entails the construction of specialized lanes for two-wheelers on state highways and urban roads, as well as the establishment of pedestrian foot over bridges (FOBs) and underpasses along major urban arterial routes.

Significance of Traffic Segregation in Road Safety

A pivotal aspect of this new plan involves the creation of dedicated two-wheeler lanes to address the issue of traffic non-segregation, which is a leading cause of road accidents in India. By segregating two-wheelers from larger vehicles, the risk of collisions can be significantly mitigated, thereby ensuring a safer road environment for all users.

Lessons from International Best Practices

Countries like Malaysia, facing similar challenges with a high volume of two-wheelers, have successfully implemented dedicated corridors for these vehicles along highways, resulting in a noteworthy decrease in accidents. India aims to emulate this success by adopting similar infrastructure improvements.

Emphasis on Pedestrian Safety with FOBs and Underpasses

Another crucial element of the government's strategy is to improve pedestrian safety, particularly in bustling urban areas where pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable. FOBs and underpasses offer safe crossing points, reducing the likelihood of accidents and promoting smooth traffic flow.

Current Road Accident Statistics and Root Causes

The data indicates that two-wheelers are involved in nearly 44% of road crashes due to the lack of dedicated infrastructure and mixed traffic conditions, while pedestrians account for 17% of road crashes and 19% of fatalities. Non-segregation of traffic and inadequate infrastructure for VRUs are identified as primary factors contributing to the high number of accidents.

Initiative for Road Safety Enhancement - Consultation Paper 'SAFE'

The Road Transport Ministry has circulated a consultation paper titled 'SAFE,' aimed at formulating strategies to reduce road crashes and fatalities, with a particular focus on VRUs, who constitute over half of the road fatalities in India. The paper stresses the importance of improving infrastructure and enforcing stricter safety measures to protect VRUs.

Lessons from Malaysia and Road Safety in School Curriculum 

Drawing inspiration from Malaysia's success with dedicated corridors, India can adopt similar strategies tailored to its unique needs. Furthermore, integrating road safety education into the school curriculum can instill responsible behavior among children from a young age, paving the way for long-term positive change.

Expected Outcomes, Financial Allocations, and Implementation Strategy

The plan aims to achieve a 70% reduction in accidents and fatalities per 10,000 vehicles and a 50% reduction per 10,000 km of road length. With a budget of Rs 14,000 crore allocated from central and state resources, a structured implementation strategy involving mandatory interventions and target-linked incentives is in place to ensure effective execution of the road safety plan.

Role of States and UTs, Accountability, and Measurement of Success

States and UTs play a pivotal role in implementing the plan, prioritizing critical issues, and promoting best practices at the grassroots level. Accountability and responsibility are emphasized, with states and UTs encouraged to adopt and propagate best practices in road safety. Success will be measured through annual targets, key outputs, and a state ranking system based on reducing road accidents, driving a culture of excellence and continual improvement.

In Conclusion

The government's initiative to establish dedicated two-wheeler lanes and pedestrian FOBs/underpasses marks a significant stride toward enhancing road safety in India. By targeting vulnerable road users and deploying specific interventions, the plan aims to reduce accidents and fatalities. With a well-defined implementation strategy and active engagement from states and UTs, the trajectory of road safety in India appears promising.