The road to life
How our roads can be safe for us
DR. MANZOOR AHMAD YETOO
Road safety focuses on the prevention of serious injury and death crashes in spite of human fallibility. Safe road design is now about providing a road environment which ensures vehicle speeds will be within the human tolerance for serious injury and death.
Basic principle of safe system approach is to ensure that in the event of a crash, the impact energies remain below the threshold likely to produce either death or serious injury.
Unfortunately in J&K State, sustainable solutions for all classes of roads have not been identified, particularly lowly trafficable rural and remote roads, a hierarchy of control should be applied, similar to best practices of occupational safety & health.
The highest control is sustainable prevention of serious and death crashes requiring all key result areas to be considered. At the second level is real time risk reduction which involves providing users at severe risk with a specific warning to enable to take mitigating action. The third level is about reducing the crash risk which involves road design standards and guidelines, improvement in driver behavior and enforcement.
An effective safety policy should be as:
Built Up Areas: For planned neighborhoods studies recommend the network configurations such as the “Fused Grid” or 03 way offset. These layout models organize a neighborhood area as a zone of no-cut through traffic by means of loops or dead end streets. They also ensure that pedestrians and bicycles have distinct advantage by introducing exclusive shortcuts by means of path connections through block and parks.
Modern safety barriers shall be designed to absorb impact energy and minimize the risk to the occupants of cars, and bystanders. For example most side rails are now anchored to the ground, so that a passenger compartment is not skewed. Some road fixture such as road signs and fire hydrants are designed to collapse on impact.
Most of roads should be cambered (crowned) that is made so that they have rounded surface. This reduces standing water and ice primarily to prevent frost damage but also increasing traction in poor weather, some sections of roads should be surfaced with porous bitumen to enhance drainage, especially on bends. These should be raised markers between lanes to reinforce the lane boundaries and make it certain that these are reflective. Near pedestrians, speed bumps should be placed to slow cars and other vehicles.
Lane markers, marked with “cat eyes or bots dots” by bright reflectors that do not face like paint.;” Botts dots” can be embedded in short, shallow trenches carved in roadways especially in mountainous regions like J&K. Most road signs and pavement making materials should be retro-reflective.
Turning across traffic: Turning left or right pose several risks. The more serious risk is collision with coming traffic.
Risk can be minimized as:
* Addition of left turn lanes
* Providing protected turn phasing at signalized intersections.
* Using indirect turn treatments.
* Converting conventional intersections to round about.
* A Driver should look and drive in only when it is clear.
Designing for pedestrians and cyclists:
* Side walks of suitable width for expected pedestrian traffic.
* Pedestrians crossing close to the desire line which allow pedestrians to cross roads safety.
* Over bridges.
* Under passes.
* Traffic calming and speed humps.
* Low speed limits that needs rigorous enforcement.
* Speed cameras to ensure low speed limits.
* Shared spaces schemes giving ownership of the roads spaces and equal priority to all road users.
Designing of Major highways as per safety standards:
* Limited access from properties and local roads.
* Grade separated junctions.
* Median dividers between opposite – directions traffic to reduce likelihood of head on collision.
* Removal of road side obstacles.
* Prohibition of more vulnerable road users and slower vehicles.
* Placement of energy attenuation devices (e.g. guard rails, wide grassy areas, sand barrels)
* Eliminating road toll booths.
* Development of automated roadways to reduce driver fatigue and increase the carrying capacity of road, besides reducing fuel consumption.
1- Leave your location early so that you don’t have to run to catch the bus.
2- At bus stop follow queue.
3- Never board or alight at a red light
4- Board the bus only after it has come to a hault.
5- Do not sit, stand or travel on the footboard of the bus.
6- Do not put any part of your body outside a moving bus or vehicle.
7- While in the bus refrain from shouting or making noise as it can distract the driver.
8- Always hold onto handrail if standing in bus.
9- Use seat belts while driving a car.
10- Non consumption of alcohol and drugs while driving.
11- Restrictions on use of mobile phone.
12- Compliance to prescribed speed limits.
All these safety measure need a multi pronged approach, political will and an effective coordination between various implementing departments and utilization of service of safety experts so that we may say that roads are built to drive safely.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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