62.1 Traffic accident situation in India is one of the worst in world !!
Number of traffic deaths in India in 2009 were 134,000 while those in USA were 33,000. Now one may say that this comparison is unfair, as population of India is about 4 times that of USA. Well, traffic accident death rate per 100,000 citizens of India is almost same as that of USA, India is 11 deaths per 100,000 citizens while USA is 12.5 deaths per 100,000 citizens.
But when seen as number of death per 100,000 vehicles, India is much worse. To be specific, number of traffic deaths in India per 100,000 motor vehicles per year was over 300, while that in USA was 15, that in China was 36 and world average is 100. IOW, we are three times worse off than the world , eight time worse off than China and twenty times worse off than USA !! Further, India has largest number of pedestrian deaths and cyclists deaths.
In addition, the number of traffic injuries could be much higher as many injuries go unreported in India, while minutest accident gets reported in USA and China.
The most important reason for high deaths is that drivers know that they can get away by racing away i.e. hit and run or they can bribe the policemen\judge and get away. In a large number of rash driving cases, the policemen\judges simply take bribe and let the person walk away or throw very little punishment. Even in extreme cases of negligence and rash driving, where 2-6 people have died, the judges often take bribe and throw low sentences.
A large number of accidents happen because one of the vehicle is on wrong side or it is too far off the road divider. Many accidents are because there are no proper foothfaths and so person is forced to walk to road, which increases chances of accident. Pls road dividers are not made properly, and so traffic spills over on other side and hits someone coming from other sides.
So what Gazette Notification drafts can reduce traffic deaths and injuries?
To reduce accidents, we need to print two types of GNs – GNs to improve road\footpath design that minimizes accident possibilities and GNs increase fear in the mind of drivers, cyclists as well as pedestrians that he cannot get away with rash driving and J-walking i.e. “crossing road not on zebra-crossing”. To create better safer road design, we need print GNs which enable us common to expel/punish officers who create unsafe and inconvenient road design. And to install fear in the minds of rash drivers cyclists and pedestrians, we need to print GNs that would reduce corruption in Traffic heads and also force them to install technology to track down rash drivers, track down hit and run criminals and have police\courts which punishes rash drivers.
What Gazette Notification drafts can achieve above?
In addition, we need also need GNs that would reduces need of traffic as far as possible.
62.2 RRP’s administrative proposals to manage\reduce traffic accidents
- Right to Recall Municipal Commissioner and Right to Recall Mayor will improve road\footpath design and create “pedestrian first, cyclist second, buses third and others forth” policy in road\footpath design. This will improve footpath design and reduce accidents of pedestrians with vehicles. And also reduce accidents of cyclists with motor vehicles and all other types of accidents. This will also ensure that Municipal Commissioner and Mayor are putting proper road dividers or making wide road dividing lines along the road, and that will further reduce accidents. Also, the road should not be broader at the inter-section. So the pedestrians can cross roads with lesser difficulty.
- Right to Recall District Traffic Police Chief will improve systems necessary to supervise traffic and reduce corruption in traffic\vehicle department.
- Right to Recall State Surface Transport Minister will improve systems necessary to supervise traffic and reduce corruption in traffic\vehicle department.
- Right to Recall judges and Jury Trial over Traffic Violations will reduce corruption in courts and increase chances of convictions in cases of rash driving, and thus reduce rash driving. Narco-test in public of driver should be made compulsory in all cases of accidents that involve death or permanent loss of limb. Minutest violations must be brought to Traffic Juries who will decide fines and or punishment. No violation must go unnoticed.
- Implement “no turn on red” in urban areas i.e. upon red light, vehicles cannot take a left turn. So the pedestrians can cross roads fearlessly.
- Increase annual vehicle tax ; use money to improve roads and parking
- Increase annual vehicle tax ; use money to increase and improve bus service, so that lesser people will need to use vehicles
- Give liceneces to 8-seater auto rickshaws. This will reduce scooter traffic.
- Allow mixed use buildings , so that employees may stay in same of near-by buildings and so commute and traffic reduces
- Increase wealth taxes, so the those who have empty flats rent it out, and so effective diameter of the city reduces and so traffic reduces
- Increase correspondence in Govt offices via email and video conferences so that need to travel reduces. Create by-post interface for any many tasks as possible.
62.3 RRP proposals to reduce illegal hawking of footpaths
Due to hawkers, pedestrians have to walk on road. So possibility of accidents increase, traffic slows down and this increases fuel consumption of country. Thus hawkers gets free spot on sidewalk, and the cost is paid by whole nation in form of increased accident rate and increased fuel consumption. Hawking goes on because hawkers pay hafta to policemen, judges, municipal officers etc.
What GN drafts can reduce illegal hawking be reduced?
Once MRCM-draft (see chap-5) is printed in Gazette, the poverty will reduce and so “bechaaraa” angle to support hawking will decrease. Next, issue license to hawkers, after putting the wealth they have in their name and in the name of their wife or children on websites. This will make it apparent that many hawkers are non-poor and so no longer deserve status of “bechaaraa”. Then finally, enact Jury System on hawkers. The Jurors can be explained how hawking increases fuel consumption, fuel prices, pollution and also accident rates. So Jurors will not punish hawkers and thus hawking will reduce.
62.4 RRP’s technical proposals to manage\reduce Traffic accidents
The technical proposals are about installing and using technology to monitor vehicle so that traffic violations do not go unnoticed and get recorded with less subjective proofs. There are two conditions for materializing technical proposals (i) technologies proposed are feasible and cost effective and (ii)the head in-charge such as Police Commissioner is concerned.
The RTR over District Traffic Police Commissioner and RTR over Transport Minister will ensure that they both take interest in implementing the technical proposals.
So following are the technical proposals I propose to reduce traffic accidents. But please note that in absence of RTR over Traffic Police Chief and Transport Minister, none of the technical proposals will materialize.
- Traffic Police Chief can install 1000s of camera on roads etc. This will improve monitoring and increase the fear in the minds of rash drivers and reduce rash driving. And if and when accidents happen, it will become easier to catch the vehicle.
- The State Transport Minister can standardize font shape and size on the license plate so that number plate can be recognized easily by image processing software. The Minister can also make it compulsory for vehicles to write numbers on all 4 sides of vehicles, not just front and back. This will make vehicle recognition easier. The vehicle number place should also have code which denotes vehicle manufacturing company, year and make. Further, the color the vehicle must also be registered. Further, the mobile phone number and email address of the owner should also be registered.
- The feeds of cameras on the roads can be sent to automated number plate recognizing software. This software will send one SMS\email per day to the user giving him the sites where his vehicle traveled. This will create an impression in the minds of every vehicle-owner that vehicle is being watched and so rash driving and hit and run are not options anymore. Further, the software can quite accurately guess the position of the vehicle on the road and its direction. So if a vehicle-owner is traveling on wrong side and/or his vehicle is very much off the road divider, the software can track it and notify the constables and Juries.
- The automated vehicle recognition system can be linked with vehicle database and itself for cross checking to ensure that a vehicle owner is not putting fake number plates. How? Say a vehicle owner decided to put a fake number plate. He has only two ways – (i)use a number which has not been issued at all OR (ii)use a number issued to someone else. In case-(i), the software will catch him immediately. In case-(ii) , the software will compare the number with company-make-year code of the vehicle as well as color, and raise alarm if there is a mismatch. Further if same vehicle number appears at two different sites, then also software. And lastly, when vehicle owner gets emails\SMS notifying him positions of his vehicle, the owner will raise alarm if someone is using is vehicle number illegally.
- The automatic vehicle number recognition software will reduce speed violations, as over-speeding will get noticed immediately and proved with ease.
- Making RFID tag compulsory for all vehicles so that tracking becomes easy. So vehicle owner knows that Govt knows position and approximate speed of his vehicle, and so hit and run and over-speeding are not easy options anymore.
- Making GPS tracker compulsory in all new cars, and then making it compulsory in old cars as well gradually. Later, make GPS tracker compulsory for two-wheelers as well. So vehicle owner knows that Govt knows position of his vehicle, and so hit and run is not easy.
The above technical proposals, as and when get implemented, will reduce rash driving and traffic accidents. They will also reduce crimes which involve use
62.5 What can YOU do to reduce traffic deaths, traffic accidents and traffic problem
Please read chap-13 of this book http://rahulmehta.com/301.htm . It has several steps where-in you can spend 6 hours a week and help to bring TCP draft in Gazette in India. The steps involve distributing pamphlets, informing citizens on motives of leaders such as Congress MPs, BJP MPs, The Anna, Arvind Gandhi etc who oppose TCP draft, by giving newspaper ads and contesting elections. Once TCP gets printed in Gazette, using TCP, it will become easy for activists to get citizens’ opinion law-drafts necessary to reduce traffic accidents. Once law-drafts such as (i) Right to Recall Traffic Police Chief, (ii)RTR Transport Minister (iii) RTR Mayor (iv) RTR Municipal Commissioner (v) RTR judges (vi) Jury System over Traffic Violations etc get printed in the Gazette, the road\footpath layouts will become less accident prone, traffic monitoring and vehicle tracking will improve, noticing of traffic violations will increase, punishments in traffic accidents will become prompt and so rash driving will decrease.