Can Delhi Remove The Tag Of Being The ‘Overspeeding’ Capital Of India?
New Delhi: In yet another hit-and run-case, a 30-year-old Uber cab driver on his very first day in his new job, was killed instantly after a speeding BMW car crashed into his vehicle in South Delhi’s Munirka late at night on January 22. As reported by NDTV the impact was such that the cab flung in the air and skidded for a few metres before coming to a stop at the flyover near the Delhi IIT. Shoaib Kohli, the 24-year-old who was driving the speeding BMW X 5 at a speed of 120 km/hr in Delhi bearing a Chandigarh registration number, works for a multi-national company in Gurugram. The young executive managed to flee after the incident but got arrested several hours after the accident. He has been granted bail from court on Tuesday.
Also Read: Why India Needed The Road Transport And Safety Bill
Factsheet: Speeding In India
According to the report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, speeding accounted for 2,40,463 accidents in 2015, which killed 64,633 people and injured 2,53,852 people.
World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised ‘Speeding’ as one of the five risk-factors in road accidents. In Delhi alone in 2015, 640 people were killed in over 3,000 accidents caused due to speeding.
What Experts Have To Say
Overspeeding or dangerous driving is one of the major causes of road accidents, not only in India but in different countries as well. In order to reduce this, we are doing many things for making India’s roads safer for example; we have increased fines/penalties for overspeeding in Delhi. Apart from this, we are also educating the drivers on road safety/pedestrian safety and how the drivers can drive cautiously. We are also identifying ‘Black Spots’ or accidents prone spots in Delhi and asking the authorities like PWD or the local bodies to take appropriate steps and fix those areas, says Garima Bhatnagar, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Traffic Police.
— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) January 24, 2017
She also added that the Delhi Traffic Police has sent the integrated traffic management proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs which includes the idea of speed detection cameras. “We hope all this will be implemented within few years,” said Ms Bhatnagar.
When asked about why all hit-and-run cases occur mostly during the night time she said, Delhi vehicular population is increasing at a mammoth rate. We cannot ever match our manpower with the number of vehicles in Delhi, in day time we are covered but during night and early morning time frame there is a problem and hence more road crashes are being reported during those hours.
Delhi in general has shown a decrease in terms of number of fatalities or injuries due to road accidents. “Our stats and data show that in 2016, road accidents in Delhi decreased by 2-3%, yet a lot needs to be taken care of,” added Ms Bhatnagar.
Talking about this recent BMW accident, Mohammad Imran, Founder of the Safe Road Foundation said, Problem with speeding a vehicle is that when you speed it is difficult to maintain the gap between vehicles. We have to remember that urban roads have very heterogeneous traffic with different vehicular power and speed capabilities. This makes running at a uniform speed all the more important. For example, in the recent BMW case, the BMW was accelerating much faster than the Wagon R which reduced the gap between the two and caused the collision.
Even if the trend report shows that there is a decrease in road accidents in Delhi, by 2-3% the fact is that the number of accidents is still high. In the year 2015, according to the statistics shared by the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, there were 17 deaths on Indian roads per hour and Delhi topped the list of fatalities with 1622 deaths. The need of the hour is to take a new approach to traffic planning. Technologies for traffic management can a play a big role in reducing the number of road crashes. But another area of concern remains and that is the poor design of our roads. All of these aspects need to be addressed in a holistic manner to make India’s roads safer.