Pedestrians, cyclists most accident prone

Indian express buzz, October 07, 2009

Emphasising the importance of traffic calming measures in Indian cities, Dr Christer Hyden of Lund University, Sweden observed that pedestrians and cyclists were extremely exposed and vulnerable to accidents in India.

Speaking at the regional dissemination meeting on ‘Traffic Calming Strategies to Improve Pedestrian Safety in India’ at Indian Institute of Science on Tuesday, Hyden said that cars and motorcycles were the striking vehicles in more than 90 per cent of the pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Hyden pointed out that infrastructure in terms of pedestrian crossings in India was not suited for pedestrians. “Pedestrians must be able to cross streets at specific safe-guarded locations,” he said.

Dr Ase Svensson, also of Lund University, said that motorcycles represented a smaller part of all fatalities while pedestrians were by far the most involved in fatalities.

Svensson said that the most efficient speed reducing measures were speed humps and raised pedestrian crossings. “Specific geometrical designs need to be determined for Indian traffic mix. Shapes, sizes and frequency need to be determined taking into account effectiveness of humps on motorcycle operations,” she said. Svensson said that the raised junctions did not reduce speed and injury accidents.

Rather, it seemed to be quite the contrary.

“There are indications that raised junctions increase the number of injury accidents and roundabouts have a favourable effect on motor vehicle safety, which reduce injury accidents by 30 to 50 per cent,” she said.

KSRTC MD Gaurav Gupta opined that skywalks and pedestrian subways were not the solution for pedestrian safety.

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