A simple way to reduce pedestrian fatalities

The Hindu, October 08, 2009

The thousands of fatalities among pedestrians on Indian roads could be avoided using a commonsense solution: reducing vehicle speeds through roundabouts and speed humps, according to a study.

A 10-cm-tall speed bump could bring down accidents by a whopping 42 per cent and roundabouts could reduce injurious accidents by 30 to 50 per cent, according to a study conducted by the Department of Technology and Society, Lund University, Sweden, and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS International), Jaipur.

Presenting their findings at a meeting on “Traffic calming strategies to improve pedestrian safety in India” here on Tuesday, Christer Hyden and Ase Svensson, professors of the university, said that it was vital to reduce vehicle speeds to below 50 per cent to avoid fatal accidents among pedestrians.

The meeting was organised by CUTS International and Lund University in association with the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning, Indian Institute of Science. The study looked at 24 accident-prone sites in Jaipur, Rajasthan, to identify problems from pedestrians’ perspective and find effective and inexpensive ways to correct it. CUTS International is now disseminating the findings to get responses which will be documented in the form of a manual which can be utilised by policy-makers from the departments of Police, Transport, Municipal Corporation, Development Authority and Public Works.

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