WHY ‘ROAD SAFETY’ IS NON-NEGOTIABLE

Life does not bargain with death. It can never afford to do so. Death will always have the upper-hand. We are susceptible of getting summoned anytime. And we must respect its natural dominant position.

But life can keep itself away from death by exercising caution. PRE-CAUTION. It can evade a calamity with the presence of MIND and absence of ignorance. The moment we become careless we are vulnerable. Conscious ignorance can be catastrophic. Therefore, attention is a prerogative to our survival. Lack of alertness can prove to be fatal and vice versa. Alert today – Alive tomorrow.

Speed thrills, but speed kills. Photo: Pinterest.

In a road environment, constant negotiations occur. A driver and a pedestrian, both have to negotiate their ways without coming into contact. The movement happens within the legal and structural framework. All road users have to abide by the traffic rules and those who fail to comply, put themselves and others at risk.

However, certain tragedies are a product of bad behavior and no empathy for the rest. Safety starts with “S” but begins with “You”. Whether you are inside a car or outside, you are duty-bound and have a responsibility towards others.

Some major factors that contribute to road accidents:

Drivers: Over-speeding, drunken driving, distractions to driver, red light jumping, over-taking, avoiding safety gears like seat belts and helmets, tailgating.

Hoarding installed by Mumbai Traffic Police.

Vehicles: Failure of brakes or steering, tyre burst, insufficient headlights, overloading.

Road Conditions: Potholes, damaged road, construction activities, illegal speed breakers.

Pedestrian: Carelessness, illiteracy, jaywalking, street crossing from random places.

Once upon a time Pune use to be a city of cyclists. Now, Two-wheeler’s have moved to a higher preferential set. Watch the video.

Passengers: Projecting their body outside vehicle, by talking to drivers, alighting and boarding vehicle from wrong side, travelling on footboards, catching a running bus etc.

Nature: Fog, snow, heavy rainfall, cyclones.

Data speaks:

Globally, around 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road accidents, of which more than 50% deaths are amongst vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists (WHO).

Road Accidents in India 2019 report.

Road accidents in India kill almost 1.5 lakh people annually with over-speeding as one of the main causes of accidents. Pedestrians and Cyclists are at high risk with 14% increase in deaths recorded in 2019 over last year.

27th October 2020:

Why is this date so significant?

The Netherlands Parliament on Tuesday, 27th October 2020 approved a nation-wide plan to introduce a standard speed limit of 30 Km/hr in built-up areas instead of 50 Km/hr which has been the current norm. The goal is to minimize road casualties especially in areas of schools and strong concentration of children.

It is a beautiful day for the whole of cycling Netherlands! One of our major spearheads has been adopted by the House of Representatives today. On my 50th birthday I shouted: “50 is the new 30”, but today I say: Hooray, 30 is the new 50!!! – Esther Van Gardere, CEO Fietsersbond.

Brussels too has adopted a similar policy and the new 30 Km/hr speed limit will come in force starting 1st January 2021. While, Paris city has launched a consultation process on moving to a default 30 Km/hr speed limit from 2021.

Source: Online article.
‘Drive Slow’ would have been a better prompt. Location: Bandra-Worli Sea-Link, Mumbai.

Whom are we fooling???

It is established that “Driving faster can cause disaster”. India must take some learning’s from the developed nations and revisit its traffic policies.

Lovely Kupata is a local celebrity dog in Georgia. He helps kids in safely crossing the street. Watch the video.

How can we prevent accidents?

  • Education and awareness about road safety
  • Strict Enforcement of Law
  • Engineering: Vehicle design and Road infrastructure
  • Or appoint dogs as safety officers

Road Safety Week 2020:

Brake’ is a Charity with bases in UK and New Zealand and operates internationally to create awareness about road safety and reduce injuries and deaths through its campaigns.  

‘NO NEED TO SPEED’ is the slogan for the Road Safety Week to be celebrated between 16th and 22nd November 2020.

To support the Road Safety Week, The Bike Storage Company in UK has designed an easy and fun online quiz way to find out exactly how much you know about the Highway Code?

Take this quiz which is recommended for everyone and especially for cyclists. It has 8 multiple choice questions. I scored 7/8.

Test your Knowledge with this link: Road Safety Quiz

Road safety is a collective responsibility, play your part. Drive safe, Ride safe and follow the safety rules.


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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

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