Safe City Project | Chandigarh to introduce intelligent transport systems to prevent accidents

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Department of PEC University, Har Amrit Singh Sandhu discusses the areas prone to accidents in the Tricity and measures that can be taken to prevent them.

 

Har Amrit Singh Sandhu, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, PEC University

With the city witnessing more than 100 fatal accidents every year, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Department of PEC University, Har Amrit Singh Sandhu, in an interview discusses the areas prone to accidents in the Tricity and measures that can be taken to prevent them.

Every year there are 100 fatal accidents in Chandigarh. What needs to be done to improve the situation?
This is a worrisome trend, as for the last few years fatal accidents have been increasing in the Tricity. Various measures like speed restriction limits, proper signs, proper geometry of roads, visibility issues, pedestrian paths etc., help in mitigating accidents. Public transport facilities must be enhanced to discourage people from driving personal vehicles. Apart from various technical measures, drivers needs to be careful while driving and should not indulge in careless, mindless driving and must have good driving sense. A technical study must be done to determine the usefulness of roundabouts. Moreover, as the Chandigarh administration is moving towards getting a smart city tag, planners must work towards intelligent transport systems using the latest technologies, like the Geo spatial Technology.

Which areas you think are prone to accidents in Chandigarh?
If we consider the accidents that have taken place in the last two years, some of the areas which are prone to accidents are the Sector 29-31 roundabout, Sector 26 transport lights, railway crossing, Housing Board Chowk, entry of Hallomajra, the Sector 46-47-48-49 roundabout, Sector 45-46-49-50 roundabout, etc.

Is there anything lacking on the part of the administration in the Tricity?
Since a large volume of vehicles enter or exit the Tricity, it may be helpful if the administration plans and acts in unison. They may contact various stakeholders like traffic departments and educational institutes to make motorists aware of safe driving issues. There are technical points which can be suggested at the accident prone areas but the people driving the vehicles need to be alert while driving.

What are your suggestions for residents and the administration to adopt to prevent accidents?
There are a number of ways to reduce accidents like keeping eyes on the road, better signage, no drinking while driving, improving road lighting, improving driving conditions, avoiding use of mobiles, following speed limits, use of reflectors or ‘cat eyes’, strict compliance with rules, etc. Motorists must not engage in rude or aggressive behavior.

The road safety week has just passed. What do you think is the relevance of road safety week?
Trying to spread awareness just during road safety week is not sufficient to prevent accidents. Although drunken driving and speeding may involve huge fines or jail terms, these are still the major causes of road accidents. Thus, it can easily be said that awareness is a very important factor in mitigating fatal accidents. Other than celebrating road safety week other awareness methods like short films, quizzes, street plays by NGOs done by educational institutes, government organizations, private organizations with all stakeholders like motorists, administrators, pedestrians etc. can help in further spreading awareness among people who drive vehicles.

At which points in Panchkula and Mohali are there ‘black spots’, where you find problems in construction of roads and signboards?
There are a number of ‘black spots’ in the Tricity roads, which must be dealt with to mitigate accidents. These black spots occur because of various reasons, like lack of signage, proper visibility, speeding vehicles or poor conditions of roads. Some points which needs to be taken care of, according to various studies by NGOs, educational institutes or government organizations in Chandigarh are, as already discussed, the Sector 29-31 roundabout, Sector 26 transport lights, railway crossing, etc. In Panchkula, some of the black spots are the Ramgarh Rotary, ITBP entry gate, entry road to Nada Sahib Gurdwara, Old Panchkula entry to Chandigarh, the underpass of entry to Sector 20, and Hafed Chowk. Similarly, various reports suggest that Mohali has some black spots including the light point near New Sunny Enclave, Lalru-Landran road, the Phase VI light point near civil hospital, PCL chowk, SCL light point and the Kharar bus stand etc.

Is there a need for scientific planning to ensure safety of city residents? What are the parameters of the planning?
A planner must include the latest technologies like digital mapping, cloud computing, GPS, CCTV, etc, to ensure safety and strict compliance with rules on roads. Since it is impossible to monitor all activities manually, the latest technologies shall be very useful for automatic challans, tracking defaulters/vehicles etc. to ensure the safety of users (motorists/pedestrians).