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Wednesday , 22 May 2024

Chandigarh: On going fight against serious road accidents

Jaswinder Singh, Dy.SP/Traffic (R&D), Road Safety, UT, Chandigarh

National Crime Records Bureau Data shows that India had about 155, 622 deaths due to road accidents in 2022. With millions more sustaining severe injuries. In this first part of the series of accounts covering road safety initiatives by Indian Cities, Jaswinder Singh, Dy.SP/Traffic (R&D), Road Safety, UT, Chandigarh tells Trafficinfratech how the City has put in place systems and regulations to keep the serious accidents well under control.

How does the Chandigarh police control road accidents? There is definitely a well organised structure helping the enforcement of traffic rules. The City is well planned and that could help too.

Chandigarh Traffic Police Unit in total has a manpower of 608 personnel as of now. The Traffic Unit has the supervisory officers as the SSP/Security & Traffic, Ms Manisha Choudhary, IPS. There are three Zones for the Traffic Wing i.e. Central Zone, East Zone and South Zone. South Zone being the largest is split into two sub-zones i.e. South East Zone and South West Zone. Each Zone has a Dy.SP rank supervisory officer assisted by the one Traffic Inspector and field manpower is also provided in each Zone. The duty hours of field staff are from 08.00 am to 08.00 pm in general and these duty hours varies keeping in view the VVIP/VIP movements and special law and order arrangements. These are 35 critical junctions, keeping in view the traffic volume and flow where static field duties are deployed from 08.00 am to 08.00 pm to mitigate the traffic flow and traffic regulations and for traffic violation enforcement.

Under the Traffic Wing, there is a Children Traffic Park headed by one Inspector as In-charge under which we have small unit of Road Safety Education Cell, Road Accident Analysis Cell and the Social Medial platforms.

The City has an area of 114 sqkm and has Grid Iron pattern for the road infrastructure defined by a system of seven types of roads. Chandigarh largely consists of sectors having a length of 1.2 km and width of 800 meters. The main carriageway roads are of six and four lanes having junctions in the shape of roundabouts, intersections and double T Intersections (staggered intersections). There are 106 controlled junctions having ATCS traffic lights. A stretch of 15.275 kilometres of National Highway NH-5 passes through the City. The total road network length is 2184.7 km majority being urban roads. Additionally, the City has 274 km of cycle track too.

The Challenges could be too many …

Chandigarh has a population of 11.78 Lakhs and is number one as per the highest vehicle density per capita population; the majority of registered vehicles being LMVs and two wheelers besides other modes of vehicles. The number of transit vehicles passing through the City per day accounts to 80,000 to one lakh and out of that about 15 to 20% are halting in the city. The increasing developments in the tri-city of Mohali and Panchkula, there is increase in the tri-city population and vehicular traffic leading to parking problems.

Managing Accidents

Chandigarh Traffic Police has a dedicated Road Accident Analysis Wing headed by Inspector with three support staff who work under the supervision of Dy. SP/Traffic (R&D) Road Safety. This wing collects all the data pertaining to the accidents cases registered in the Police Stations, do mapping of all the fatal and non-fatal cases–. location, time, vehicle involved, gender, geometrical parameters– and conducts spot visits along with the representatives of Engineering Department, Urban Town Planning and Experts (NMT & Traffic & Road Engineer) of Chandigarh Road Safety Society. The black spots as well as the accident prone locations are also mapped. For each fatal road crash case, a proper joint report depicting the observations and recommendations is sent to the Chief Architect, Chief Engineer of UT and Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh for the execution of the measures as recommended in these reports.

Upon proper analysis, special enforcement drives for drunken driving, speeding, red light jumping, driving without helmet etc. are conducted on the accident prone stretches in particular and on another road stretches in general in order to reduce the fatal/non-fatal road crashes in the City. The Road Crash Data from 2018 upto 2023 (Upto 27.05.2023) reflects the decrease in the road crashes in the City:-

The severity level score in fatal cases has come down to 0.75 from 1.25. The score was around 46.15 per 100 cases in 2021 and the grievous cases have also decreased. During the calendar years-2019-2020-2021 we had ten(10) black spots locations and as of now during the calendar years-2020,2021-2022 we have six(06) black spots locations. There are 18 accident prone locations in the city.

More on Awareness Creation

CTP has a dedicated Road Safety Education Cell. One Sub Inspector is involved in creating awareness through jingles and songs on different issues of road safety. The Road Safety Awareness is created by conducting sessions in Educational Institutes (Schools/Colleges) private sector offices, in residential and market areas through audio/video visuals and through creatives in social media platforms. Apart from educating on the importance of using helmets, seat belts, avoiding the use of mobile phone, drunken driving, jogging, walking etc. we also focus on correctional methodology for one’s own safety and others on the road.

We stress on the fact that in a road accident, it is taking or giving up of life or causing serious bodily injuries and defensive driving is much more safe driving than offensive driving. We have come across people just mugging up the categories of the traffic road signage without understanding the significance of each sign. Road safety curriculum is introduced from the third level itself in the schools. A Road Safety Manual is also being made mandatory for those  applying for learners driving licence, new license or for renewal through the Transport Department RLO Office UT Chandigarh. A driver refresher training course helps those drivers whose driving licences have been disqualified because of traffic violations.

The Department has a Cycle Safety Squad consisting of 10 police officials who are continuously guiding cyclists, rickshaw/rehri pullers to use cycle tracks and how to cross the roads at junctions from the designated marked area when the green light appears. Retro reflective tapes of yellow and red colour are being affixed for increasing their visibility during the night hours.

Road Safety Society (CRSS)

On the directions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety,UT Chandigarh has incorporated Chandigarh Road Safety Society, a Centre of Excellence in Road Safety which will function as the Lead Agency.

The Society will prepare and execute detailed plan and programmes for the road safety. The main objectives include identifying black spots and their removal and undertaking traffic simulation studies for traffic management & research in road safety. The society carries out accident investigation and analysis to create scene; road re-engineering and re-design; preparation of Mobile apps/gaming for training; data analytic and review of policy and short term courses/internship programs/training for the benefit of public, students, various categories of drivers.

Some of the other focus areas

Primarily the focus areas are education (road safety awareness), enforcement, to curtail the fatal road crashes. Also rectifying black spots and undertaking engineering measures for safe and smooth traffic flow in the City. Monthly meetings of District Road Safety Committee are held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner, UT, wherein all the proposed road safety measures are discussed and directions are issued for its timely execution by the stake holder departments.

Under the first phase of Smart City project, we have installed ITMS and ATMS systems at 40 junctions for capturing traffic violations of red light jumping, pedestrian zebra crossing, speeding and driving/riding without helmet. Besides, surveillance CCTV cameras are installed at 47 junctions, border areas, schools, parking lots etc. All the data base of the CCTV footage is being monitored at the Police Command Control Centre (PCCC). With the advantage of Artificial Intelligence technology, accidents are captured showing the factual, real-time data.

The road discipline by the motor vehicle users has also increased with the installation of CCTV cameras. The ITMS and ATMS systems are required to be installed covering all the junctions and mid-block road stretches areas for having proper surveillance and capturing of traffic violations & road crashes for proper analysis and measures to be undertaken.

In Chandigarh, there are mid-block pedestrian crossings on the main carriageways and the zebra crossing markings are not visible to the motorists. For the improvement of these pedestrian crossings, putting up of zig-zag hazard markings along with transverse bars as per IRC standards, have been proposed at 10 locations with the help of the NMT and traffic & road engineering experts of Chandigarh Road Safety Society. It was also recommended that the berm area should also have flared ramp facilities for the convenience of the pedestrian and differently abled person while crossing the road from mid-block pedestrian crossings.

To inculcate the habit of lane driving, arrow markings around the roundabout as well as on the main carriageway approaching arms to the junctions are being put to help the drivers manoeuvre their lanes. It has also been proposed to make safe school zones by providing all relevant engineering measures as per IRC standards.

We have also initiated measures by erecting spring posts for physical segregation of cycle tracks marked on the main carriageway for the safety of the cyclists and also for channelising traffic better at the locations where road divider cannot be provided. Another concept for traffic management is neighbourhood. We have also installed convex mirrors at 107 blind spots and chevron marking on roundabouts for increasing their visibility and to avoid collision into the roundabout.

Road Crashes Data -2018-2023
Year Total Cases Fatal Cases Persons Killed Grievous Cases Grievous Injured Persons Minor Injury Cases Minor Injured

Persons

Non- Injury

Cases

U/S 174

CrPC

2018 316 97 98 19 21 169 279 31 21
2019 305 100 104 14 17 162 258 29 29
2020 159 50 53 10 14 81 134 18 9
2021 208 94 96 6 9 92 163 16 14
2022 237 79 83 14 18 113 185 31 21
2023 till 27.05.2023 68 24 27 0 0 35 67 9 8

 

Road Crashes Data -2018-2023
Year Total Cases Fatal Cases Killed Persons Pedestrian Deaths Cyclist Deaths Two- Wheeler Deaths Non Fatal Cases Injured Persons U/s 174

CrPC

2018 316 97 98 35 11 40 219 300 21
M F M F M F M F M F
83 15 27 8 10 01 35 05 232 68
2019 305 100 104 36 10 46 205 275 29
M F M F M F M F
84 20 25 11 08 02 41 05 216 59
2020 159 50 53 12 10 20 109 148 9
M F M F M F M F M F
46 7 9 3 10 0 20 0 117 31
2021 208 94 96 24 17 32 114 172 14
M F M F M F M F M F
79 17 18 6 15 02 29 03 135 37
2022 237 79 83 23 12 40 158 203 21
M F M F M F M F M F
68 15 16 7 12 0 35 05 164 39
2023 upto 27.05.
2023
68 24 27 8 06 09 44 67 8
M F M F M F M F M F
21 6 5 3 05 01 07 02 53 14

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