Road accidents in India will continue to be a burning issue in the society till stringent traffic enforcement coupled with forgiving, safer roads are built into the system. When we look the issue at from the perspective of Delhi’s road accident scenario, the capital experienced a rise in accidents in 2018, with as many as 1,604 persons killed as against 1,510 in 2017. However, there is a decline in the number of people injured from 6,332 in 2017 to 5,831 in 2018. The total number of registered motor vehicles in Delhi was 82,93,167 for 2014 and it is more than one crore at present. Vehicle population recorded more than a 10-fold growth since 1984 with a growth rate of 6.67% per annum in 2014. It can be said that Delhi experiences at least an average of five road accidents every day, of which, four are pedestrians and one is a cyclist.
The Delhi Traffic Police identified ten ‘black spot’ locations in 2014 of the 128 accident spots 128 in the capital while the International Road Federation has identified 20 black spots in the capital. As per Delhi police, an accident ‘black spot’ is defined as a location where 3 or more fatal accidents or 10 or more non-fatal accidents take place within a year. The Centre defines ‘black spots’ on National Highways within a road stretch of about 500m in length in which either 5 road accidents (involving fatalities/grievous injuries) took place during last three calendar years or 10 fatalities took place during last three calendar years.
The ten black spots identified by the Delhi Police include Sarai Kale Khan, Kashmere Gate chowk (Morigate), Nigam Bodh Ghat, Mukundpur Chowk, Dr Bhabha Marg crossing, Punjabi Bagh Chowk, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Mahipalpur Flyover, Shani Mandir and Shahdara Flyover.
Shawon Aziz conducted a study at the School of Planning & Architecture by using a Star Rating technique developed by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) to improve the safety of the road network.
He recommended that additional lanes, lane widening, road safety barriers, delineation, signalized intersections, pedestrian facilities, shoulder sealing, traffic calming measures , speed management, grade-separated pedestrian crossings and service and bicycles lanes coupled with improvement in visibility by removing hazards and redesigning the layouts of the intersections are required immediately to significantly minimize accidents at the ten locations in Delhi urban area. The concept of a star rating with respect to worst road to excellent road related to provision of road safety facilities for traffic namely car, scooter/motor cyclist, bicycle and pedestrian is denoted by defining star one to star five.
The 10 Black Spots in Delhi are characterised by 52% of road stretch with 3 star rating for Vehicles , 50 % of stretch with 2 star rating for Motorcyclists, 38 % with 1 star rating for pedestrians, 34 % with 2 star rating for Bicycles. An investment of rupees 49.97 Crores for Road safety Counter measures at 10 Black Spots in Delhi not only improve star rating with higher safety values of the ten black spots but also can save 1981 fatal & 17890 injurious accidents in 20 Years with Net Present Value(NPV) of economic benefits rupees 388.74 Crores with Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) of 8.
Prioritization of 10 Black Spots in Delhi suggests, Nigam Bodh Ghat followed has highest priority followed by others namely Sarai Kale Khan, Shani Mandir , Mukunpur dar Chowk, Kasmiri Gate , Shahadara Flyover, Mahipalpur, Mori Gate, Punjabi Bagh, Dr. and Bhaba Marg with cost per FSI Saved Rs.16,056 & BCR 12.
Thus safer roads for all types of Vehicle Users, Pedestrians, Bicyclists are of immediate necessity to get rid of black spots and hazard prone locations.