Roadway markings on Shimla roads missing despite high rate of accidents
SHIMLA- Himachal Pradesh was ranked second in the list of highest deaths due to road accidents. The number of road accidents is increasing every day. As per old government statistics, on an average Himachal witnesses over 1,000 road accidents every year. Shimla- the capital ranks highest among all districts for accidents. One obvious reason is government’s failure to provide proper road-side safety in such a tough hilly terrain.
Similarly, while entire world pays attention to proper road marking to reduce accidents, the Imperial summer capital doesn’t have appropriate “centre and edge” road markings.
In fact, the edges along most of the roads are eroded and drains are either missing or are too deep and open. Erosion on the edges have narrowed the already narrow roads.
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Apparently, when the capital city lacks road markings and signs, the condition in other districts of the state could be imagined easily. It’s a huge mistake and carelessness on the part of government to not ensure regular monitoring and maintenance of road markings.
Let’s take a look at various studies and researches on the effect of presence and absence of proper marking.
In 1911, Edward N. Hines, the chairman of the Wayne Country, Michigan, Board of Roads,invented the idea of centre road marking after watching a leaking milk truck that was leaving thick white trail behind it. Contribution of this simple idea of dividing road through a painted line to streamlining traffic especially on two lane roads with traffic moving in opposite direction in each lane was later recognized by modern world. Hines was inducted posthumously in 1972 into the Michigan Transportation Hall of honor for his innovation. In 2011, he was also awarded with the first Paul Mijksenaar Design for Function Award.
Any part of the world, which has motor vehicles on roads, adopted it. It evolved with the passage of time. Professionals and researchers carried out research studies to figure out causes of road crashes. Lack of road markings and sings emerged out to be critical factors that increased rates of accidents. There is hardly any study on road safety measures that does not mention importance of this tool.
According to a research study titled “The Benefits of Pavement Markings: A Renewed Perspective Based on Recent and Ongoing Research”:
Miller included a meta-analysis of studies with pavement marking safety numbers. He found, using studies deemed credible, an average crash reduction of 21 percent that could be attributed to pavement markings. One of the reports he reviewed was by Bali et al., who examined delineation treatments on rural two-lane highways. This was a 10-state study including more than 500 sites. Their study found that adding edge lines and centerlines reduced crashes by 36 percent. Adding edge lines to existing centerlines reduced crashes by 8 percent.
According to a report prepared after analysis of 211 accidents in Ahemedabad and Gandhinagar:
Coimbatore Rural Road Accident Study studied 568 accidents examined between October 2012- October 2014 and it showed:
As per Washington Transportation Research Board’s report: “Utilities and Roadside Safety”
One obvious way to reduce utility pole crashes is to assist the driver in staying on the
roadway. This may be done by positive guidance—for example, by using pavement
markings, roadside delineators, advance warning signs, and other visual cues to tell the
driver what to expect and to provide a good visual path through a site.
There are countless number of similar studies that clearly show the effectiveness of proper road marking and signs to pass critical information and instruction to drivers.
It won’t be wrong to say that these markings are matter of life and death. There is no reason for the government to be carefree when such essential measures are missing.
If the government is actually serious about streamlining traffic and reduce road accidents and deaths caused by them, then it must implement every tested method to do so. Road markings is one of the most essential parts of ensuring road safety and prevent confusion among drivers.