HYDERABAD: Prompting concerns among road safety experts, the State and National Highways in Cyberabad are recording only half the number of deaths reported from road accidents. According to the data available with the traffic police, about 50 per cent of the total deaths reported in accidents happen on the State and National Highways. In 2018 (till June), 163 people died on the four national, three state highways and the Outer Ring Road stretch. In June alone, 29 deaths and 84 injuries were reported from 115 accidents.
Founder of the Indian Federation of Road Safety, Vinod K. Kanumala said, about 50 per cent of the accidents reported are due to human error and the remaining due to traffic flaws or bad road engineering. In most of the accidents reported from highways, speeding was the primary reason and it had to be curbed, he said. The traffic police too share the same opinion and pointed out that despite creating awareness about speeding, it continues. “We have installed laser guns for speed enforcement on the highways. Enforcement is done by sending e-challans to the violators. We have identified accident-prone spots and placed barricades to ensure vehicles slow down at small village crossroads,” DCP Traffic S M Vijay Kumar said.
He added that enroute the villages on the national and state highways, the police were conducting awareness campaigns to educate people on safe driving and traffic rules. “We are educating them about the basics of highway driving, lane discipline and use of indicators too,” the official said. Kanumala explained that there was no need to install speed guns but enforcement of rules during the night was essential. “During the night there are no traffic police to check instances of speeding except generating challans. Round-the-clock monitoring will help to a certain extent. The available technology should also be used properly,” he said.
Agencies face fund crunch for the upkeep of highways
Agencies involved in the upkeep of the state and national highways have fund shortages for the illumination of dark spots and putting up signboards, traffic police officials said. A good part of the highways fall under the jurisdictions of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda which witness heavy traffic owing to connectivity with the city and its peripherals. The highways are maintained by the Roads and Buildings Department, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and local bodies.
Nevertheless, whenever the traffic police seek their help in illuminating stretches, road repairs or signboards, the agencies express helplessness since they do not have funds for exigencies. “They reason out that they do not have additional budgetary allocations to take up such work,” a senior traffic official said. The Telangana State Road Safety Authority officials have started holding talks with the agencies involved in maintaining the highways to convince them of the importance of safety aspects of these highways....