Geetam Tiwari, Dinesh Mohan and Richard Muskaug
Terms of Reference
To collect and analyse data (including cluster analysis) for a period of two years for Mumbai and one year for Greater Mumbai and to determine factors associated with accidents.
To analyse accident data for the identification of high accident corridors and locations and to suggest remedial measures for physical alterations in design and enforcement policies.
To develop guidelines for more efficient data collection and analysis methods, and procedures for institutionlising continuing accident reduction policies.
To develop policies and guidelines for institutional strengthening and modification for making road safety an integral part of the activities of all authorities and institutions connected with road transport.
Preparation of detailed study report.
The Mumbai Police provided the accident reports of all fatal accidents for the years 1996-1997, and non-fatal accident data for one year (1997). The Thane and New Mumbai Police provided fatal and non-fatal reports for the year 1997. Only those details from the forms were coded which are expected to be relatively more reliable. A special coding form was developed in association with the Mumbai Police Department. The data from the police reports were coded on to these forms and then entered onto a computer software. The police records do not have enough details to fill in all the variables accurately and reliably. The variables which we can be reasonably reliable are listed below:
Date, day, hit and run, type of accident (head on, rear end, etc), accident spot (type of junction, straight road), victim type (pedestrian, vehicle occupant, etc), sex, age (not always known or accurate), vehicle type, vehicle manoeuver.
Frequency counts and cross tabulations for these variables were made and cluster analysis done to understand the factors associated with high crash locations.
Fatality rates in Mumbai can be reduced mainly by area-wide measures on a high accidents corridors by institution of traffic calming techniques along with provision of much better facilities for pedestrians. Speed control of trucks and cars should be the focus of all future policies. It is quite clear that much more importance has to be given to reduction of accidents in mid-block locations rathe that intersections. On the basis of the accident patterns listed above and the characteristics of the identified corridors it is possible to make a few recommendations:
The accident recording system in Mumbai city has to be improved and training given for recording and analysis of the same. It is particularly important that locations of accident be recorded in the standardised format,
In view of the high pedestrian rates throughout the day except in the early hours in the morning most countermeasures should focus on providing better facilities for these road users and implementation of traffic calming techniques.
Vehicle drivers in Mumbai must be instructed to keep their headlight on during the night.
Safer truck, bus and three-wheeler fronts would reduce the incidence of fatal and non-fatal pedestrian crashes. Future policies should include the development and installation of such vehicle fronts.
Alcohol involvement of drivers and pedestrians may be one of the reasons for high pedestrian involvement rate at night. Efforts of reduction of driving under the influence of alcohol should be a part of a long term accident reduction policy.
Safe pedestrian crossing facilities are required, both at intersections and, in particular, in between the intersections.
Pedestrian fences must be erected to prevent crossing between the safe crossing facilities provided. It is anticipated that such safe facilities should be provided very 500 metres otherwise the fences would be broken by road users.
Safe pedestrian crossing facilities are particularly important between the intersections when flyovers are built, because these will tend to increase the speed further if measures are not taken.
In general it can be said that there are only three ways to provide safe crossing for the pedestrians. By separation in space (underpasses), by separation in time (traffic lights) and/or by reduced vehicle speeds (speed breakers). Special efforts have to be made to design underpass which are friendlier and safer than the current design in vogue. As far as possible underpasses should be open on both sides of the road so that the pedestrian are not scared of going to dark unsafe areas. In those sections of highways where the road surface is higher than the surrounding area it would relatively be easier to make small underpasses which are open at both ends. At other locations it would be worthwhile to consider raising road levels to provide 2.5 m high tunnels for pedestrians.
Traffic has to be slower down by traffic calming measures when it enters higher density business and residential areas. This is particularly true for the Eastern Express and Western Express Highways.
Better data could be provided if a prospective accident study is carried out
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