The idea being presented here is focusing on short term planning and then gradually converting into more stable reliable long term planning. Writer is in complete agreement that the traffic rules laid down by our law makers are fully sufficient and efficient to make the road safer. What is needed is to follow those rules strictly.
The paper tries to present a way to revive our traffic rules by using technology, education, media and law.
Short term planning focusses on the following main areas- Use of in hand social media, NGO formation, Collaboration with traffic police.
Long term planning mainly focusses on the areas like education, proper training and evolving many short term plans into a more state and automated system- Use of modern technology and IT system is part of this term plan.
2. The Reason-Why roads are unsafe
Before discussing the term plans and solution to the unsafe roads lets us examine the various reasons- why our roads are becoming unsafe.
Though in one liner the sole reason is not all of us are following the traffic rules!! Our traffic rules are very well defined and if followed properly no one is going to get hurt.
Let us check out why we don’t follow the rules. Here are a few important findings
1. Rash driving/Riding: This is a very common seen all over Bangalore. Its well expected people to be in hurry in this very competitive environment. Increasing monetary pressure, Peer pressures. Well thought unwillingness of people to spend time in highly polluted roads. Well intended accelerated move and overtake from the vacant part of the (Like left side overtake, overtake from footpath) road to reach at destination sooner.
2. License to drive to not well educated drivers. I want to make it very clear that, only education nurtures responsibility. (Though you can find many exceptions but systems are designed not based on exceptions but on generality). Discipline is what is cultivated when the driver is well educated. It is education that tells a person to wait when traffic light is red even when the whole road is empty. A well-educated driver appreciates such act, a just literate driver mocks and laughs on such act (Honking as soon as light turns green is one such example)!!!
Using phone while driving, drunk driving means driver’s level of education is very poor.
3. License to drive to uncontrolled mind. Often we see young guys riding on powerful bikes. This is due adrenaline. We can’t blame but we can’t accept too.
4. Lack of infrastructure. If we see the highly busy roads like Outer ring Road. There is no way a person could safely cross the roads. Drivers never slow down (Could be due to the above given reason) put these pedestrians in grave danger. Just putting a traffic signal or Zebra crossing is insufficient. Had these rules were enough we were not discussing road safety. Under the issue is the bad condition of our roads. We have no will to maintain or fix them. Quality is extremely poor. Its very shameful that we cannot fix a road permanently. The best example is the roads in outer ring road. The road laid decades back seems fine , but the patches fixed few months back is terribly poor. Seems we don’t have expertise to make roads any more.
Same like pot holes, ongoing projects on road for long time having no safety measures at night time.
Lack of parking places. Trucks parked on roadside, parking of private vehicles roadside during some private marriage functions!!
5. Commercial use of roads for moneymaking only. The private busses (Had been big havoc in New Delhi). Recently launched in Bangalore are there to earn money as their prime focus. Private cabs, Water supply and other known services are well known money making machines. You accept or not, we Indian are unconsciously falling prey to money. Our culture though inspires with its non-materialist philosophies to whole world, but we Indians are in race to earn more and more money. The drivers under Peer pressure and Boss Pressure forget their responsibility towards society.
Looking into above 5 points it is very clear that only one has very direct solution. The issue related to the infrastructure-point 4. We may just have to spend lots of money and pass some strict rules. But other issues a more of social issues that I will try address in my long term solution. There is no short cut to deeper issues!!!
Now let us take each of them in our short term and long term planning
3. Short Term Plans
3.1 NGO formation
NGO formation is the key step towards safer roads. The NGO will be functioning till the long term solution is implemented. The major responsibility of the NGO will be
a. Working in the direction to implement the long term solution.
b. Hire and train below poverty line adults.
c. Interact with Social media (Print and tele) to highlight the traffic rule importance
d. Deploy the man power hired in section b towards the following areas
i. Road traffic control. Helping the government officials to manage traffic.
ii. Using NGO account to improve low cost infrastructure, like filling pot holes, changing street light bulbs, re-coloring traffic signs, enabling road crossing at places like outer ring road.
iii. These men shall be trained to use recording devices to capture traffic rule breakers.
e. Using the media captured by NGO men and highlighting the same in social media. Making rule breakers feel sorry!!
f. Writing directly to companies where the driver is working. Highlighting the company names in the social media. Making companies feel their responsibility towards hiring well educated people. Making them feel sorry among their partners.
g. Introducing e-Card for Companies and individual. Using this e-Card to give loyalty and fine. Loyalty will give employees of the company and individuals may get free parking, free talk times, valet parking done by the NGO hired men etc..
h. Conducting seminars and papers on improving the current conditions.
i. Educating drivers, putting hoardings with real pictures of accidents and mishaps.
j. Collaborating with institutions near main roads to help NGO men at work. The help is in the form of First Aids, transportation for emergency cases.
k. College students, professors, corporate leaders and employees with vision will be part of decision makers about the plan implementations. A proper seminar, open forum dialogues via social media (print and tele) should be used. Final decision will be taken by the corporate and college heads. Highest weightage will be given to the opinion of the leadership whose is most affected if the plan is not implemented. For Instance, a company A at ITPL will have higher weightage for any implementation in white field than a corporate leader in Manyata tech Park
3.2 NGO Account
The biggest challenge for the NGO is from where the group will get money from?! The few Channels are
1. Donation from tax payers
2. Government budget
4. Providing advertisement spaces where ever possible.
5. Partnership with existing NGOs
6. Providing services to the institutions by proving low cost man power. Then charging them nominally.
7. Getting sponsorships for college projects and charging the parties. Ownership of new ideas and taking patents to get royalty
8. Selling/auction of art crafts donated by public in during friendly competitions. The winners will just be winning a space in a local media.
3.3 Loyalty and Penalty
A stringent loyalty and Penalty process must be setup. The below points highlight what can be done
1. A central e-card is generated against each registered Vehicles and companies
2. Each voluntary effort earns loyalty
3. Each monetary contribution earns loyalty
4. Collecting fines for traffic rule breach. Charging RTO for the service and handing over the collected fines.
4. Long Term Plans
The long term plan focusses on
1. All registered vehicles will be tagged to a credit card/bank account number, mandatorily. This can be done by integrating each vehicle number to a credit card bank account number directly by the RTO. Any failure of the delivery of the card by post office signifies wrong address and a stringent search can be done on those vehicles. Delivery can be done my Men hired by NGO to give them more employment.
a. The allotment and distribution must start from institutions/companies
b. Then to students
c. Other transport companies
d. Working corporate employees/employers
2. Coming up with automated system where the vehicle jumping/over speeding is captured by a camera. The high processing server gets the image which retrieves the number of the vehicle and charges the fine. If charging failed due to credit card dues, this can be treated as serious offence and the license of either the whole institution/individual can be revoked. (The cameras must be installed on traffic lights which captures the speed, as it is seen people over speeding to cross the signal before it goes red!!)
3. Directional infrared/ultra sound system must be installed on multilane system between two GAP-IN-MEDIAN. This is to capture the drivers driving on wrong side.
4. Speed limit signs must be loaded with speed detecting cameras. The charging must be multiplied with base fine times the over speed
5. Complaints of the NGO workers must be registered and the corresponding amount must be deducted from the chief engineer’s salary. The complaints can be the holes not properly fixed, the signals are not properly installed, infrastructure is not properly laid down for all types of road users.
6. All vehicles must be installed with inbuilt GPS system to calculate whether the driver is in mobile call while he his driving beyond certain safer speed. All service centers are directed by gov to install the system.
7. It’s mandatory to wear a digital mask by each of the commercial drivers to AutoDetect the level of alcohol consumed. If beyond certain limit once the vehicle is moving above certain speed the driver is automatically heavily fined and NGO is informed to raise a police complaint.
For non-commercial private vehicles seat belt is equipped with such masks. Not putting seat belt means vehicle will response to the RTO server telling the driver is heavily drunk.
8. All the companies/malls/housing complexes must have a standby ambulance and well trained NGO men to handle any critical accidents. So that ambulance and first aid is provided there itself in no time. A duty towards society by all institutions. Upgrade ambulance to have video conference on skype over 3G with nearest collaborated hospital to prove best in-class first aid