Traffic Signs and Road Safety
Traffic signs are the silent speakers on the road. Be it the person behind the wheel or a pedestrian, having a sound knowledge about road safety is absolutely necessary for all before hitting the roads.
Traffic signs give information about the road conditions ahead, provide instructions to be followed at the major crossroads or junctions, warn or guide drivers, and ensure proper functioning of road traffic. Being unaware of road signs is akin to throwing caution to the wind. It can lead to loss of life and property. A person is supposed to be familiar (get through a written or oral test) with the traffic signs and symbols before acquiring a driving license in India.
Road safety signs are primarily of three types:
1. Mandatory Signs:
These signs are used to ensure free movement of traffic and make the road users cognisant of certain laws and regulations, restrictions and prohibitions. Violation of these signs is an offence, as per law.
2. Cautionary Signs:
These signs make the road users conscious of hazardous conditions on the road beforehand. The drivers, accordingly, take necessary actions to handle the situation.
3. Informatory Signs:
These signs guide the road users about destinations, distance, alternative routes, and prominent locations like food joints, public toilets, nearby hospitals, etc.
Road Safety Education
Education about road safety is often provided in schools, colleges, workplaces, clubs and public places. However, there could be other ways to create mass awareness:
- Distribute booklets and pamphlets in schools.
- Show presentations on road safety and negative aspects of road accidents in the class rooms.
- Share online content with peers.
- Encourage parents to help children learn preventive measures in real time.
- Educate teachers with the basic laws and regulations on the road.
Celebrating Road Safety
Every year, prominent metro cities of India celebrate the road safety week to promote road safety measures. During the entire week, the transport departments of various states create awareness through community building process in schools, colleges, offices and on roads. They also sensitise people about the outcome of drunken driving, high-speed driving, importance of wearing helmet for bikers and seat belts for four-wheeler drivers. At times, they choose themes to communicate to the masses. Road Safety Week 2015 was celebrated in India from 11-17 January.
Road to Hell: National Statistics on Accidental Deaths in India
Driving in India can be more dangerous than you and I can ever imagine. According to the statistical reports published in 2013, an accident occurs in every minute in India. When all the developed nations are focusing on reducing the rates of accidental deaths, Indian roads have become worse than ever. According to a report published by the World Health Organization (2013), India has the highest number of road accidental deaths (105,725 people died on the road) in the world. Among the Indian states, Maharashtra (where Mumbai has the highest number of death cases i.e. 25,471 road accidents) tops the list followed by Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The report also clarifies that inefficient law enforcement, drunken driving, low user adoption of helmets and seat belts and lack of child restraints in the vehicles are the main causes behind such a high rate of road accidents in India.
Road Accidents in India
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Traffic Congestion in Delhi: Causes, Outcomes and Solutions
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Agra-Lucknow Expressway: India’s First Road Runway