10 Things To Note About Draft Delhi Road Safety Policy
A draft policy on road safety that has been placed in the public domain by the Delhi government's Transport Department identifies encroachments as one of the reasons behind road accidents and calls for recognition of rights of pedestrians. Here we examine the key points that have found a mention in the draft.
Illegal occupation: With the support of other agencies, the Delhi government plans to remove encroachments and obstructions from roads, pathways and pedestrian paths. The policy stated that encroachments have not only led to congestion but also road accidents.
Roads safety: The policy aims to bring down the number of fatalities and accident records in the city, with a minimum 10 per cent reduction on a year-on-year basis.
Pedestrian safety: Citing accidents as a public health issue which has affected the lives of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, the government will launch a non-motorised transport policy for the benefit of these users. These vulnerable commuters, significant in number, hail from the poor sections of the society and are in dire need for dedicated resources for safe road access.
Road safety information management system: A state-level road safety information management system will be set up. Using facilities such as GIS-and GPS-enabled real-time tracking, authorities will be able to respond quickly to emergencies.
Increasing awareness: With this draft policy, which is similar to the National Road Safety Policy, the government endeavours to concentrate its efforts towards raising road safety awareness, among citizens, decision-makers and government officials.
Design and infrastructure: The government plans to develop a robust road infrastructure (including road markings, speed limit signages) and will enforce best practices to ensure safe-transport system. Scientific investigation will be conducted for accidents, road engineering and signage defects and other traffic related issues. There will be inspections and road safety audits in a phased manner. Attention will be given towards educating school children through specialised programmes. Road research activities will be carried out to identify the problem areas.
Safer vehicles and parking policy: Under a new parking policy, owners will be required to seek space before a vehicle is purchased. Steps would be taken to ensure periodic inspections to ensure the road-worthiness of motor vehicles.
Safer drivers: The government will make provisions for infrastructure for training the drivers in Delhi. Manpower development, both qualitatively and quantitatively, will be done by evaluating the driving skills of driving licence-applicants under various categories of motor vehicles.
Stricter traffic law enforcement: The government will work along with the Delhi Traffic Police to enforce traffic rules and monitor violation of laws like drunken driving, overloaded vehicles, etc. Enforcement agencies will be equipped and provided support for the same.
Fast aid for accident victims: For offering speedy assistance and superior medical care to road accident victims, essential services will be put in place such as cashless treatment for 48 hours in trauma care centres along national and state highways; placing ambulances at specified distances on highways between two identified trauma care units. To encourage good samaritans who come to rescue for helping the victims, the policy seek a specific legislation to protect them along with an award scheme for vehicle owners who carry the victims.