Flaws in plan? What causes crashes on foggy days


GURUGRAM: The fatal crash on the Delhi-Gurugram expressway on Wednesday has once again put the spotlight on the accident mitigation efforts of traffic police and road construction agencies, especially during the foggy season when the visibility level drops.
On Wednesday, a 27-year-old man died after his car rammed into a stationary pickup truck near Atlas Chowk. While a probe is under way, preliminary investigation has revealed that reduced visibility due to fog may have resulted in the driver not noticing the pickup truck parked on the expressway.

Dense fog engulfs Delhi for third day, visibility drops to 50 metres at Palam

Dense fog engulfs Delhi for third day, visibility drops to 50 metres at Palam

Road safety experts and road engineering scientists blamed lack of proper signage, flawed designs of intersections and underpasses, poor illumination and enforcement, and lack of scientific investigation of fatal accidents for such accidents during the foggy season.
According to them, when a vehicle traveling at a speed of 80-100 kmph hits the brakes suddenly, it travels about 120-200 metres before coming to a standstill. Since visibility drops to the range of 10-20m or even lower due to fog, it becomes difficult for a driver to gauge the distance of a vehicle ahead of them. The problem is worsened when this is coupled with poor signage and markings, and the absence of speed calming measures, they said.
Experts suggested that besides reducing the speed limit during the foggy season, the government should consider collaborating with a tech giant like Google to implement an intelligent traffic monitoring system (ITMS), through which users can be informed about upcoming turns, vehicle breakdowns and speed limits at least 200m in advance.
“Under such a system, users will get the information that a vehicle has broken down 200m ahead and can change lanes, or that there’s a right turn ahead and can lower speed accordingly. At present, there isn’t proper signage to inform commuters. The ones that are there aren’t scientifically placed. ITMS is the need of the hour, especially for the Millenium City, which is considered to be hi-tech,” city-based road safety expert Sewa Ram said.
Experts also said the Delhi-Gurugram expressway needs to be treated as a normal city road, with speed calming measures implemented accordingly.
“The expressway cuts across habitation and is treated as a normal city road in a practical sense. So, our first step should be to accept that and then begin from there. Then, we can push for reducing the speed limit to 50 kmph and installing traffic signals and lane segregation rules,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, a road safety expert.
Asked what steps have been taken to prevent accidents due to poor visibility, traffic police claimed that they have constituted a fast fog action support team (F-FAST). Road safety officers have also been tasked to step up the drive to install reflector tapes on vehicles and accident-prone intersections, they said.
F-FAST includes a zonal officer, one constable, two home guards and two road safety officers. Its task includes combing roads in the city and looking for road structures and other design issues which may become a safety hazard on low visibility days.
“We have stepped up our efforts to find out road design flaws and coordinate with the agencies concerned to fix them. We have formed F-FAST to bring down road accidents due to fog. We have also stepped up our drive to install reflector tapes on vehicles and objects along roads like trees and poles,” DCP (traffic) RS Tomar said.
Credit Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/flaws-in-plan-what-causes-crashes-on-foggy-days/articleshow/88886203.cms


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