Road traffic nowadays is presenting more challenges for the people, especially the pedestrians. Each year, hundreds of innocent individuals have to suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence. Even cyclists and two-wheeler riders are not spared. There are unexpected crashes, injuries, and deaths happening around, clearly indicating the indiscipline among road users and higher authorities.
Overspeeding and bad driving are major culprits for health and life loss, but what about the lack of pedestrian facilities in roadway design and land use planning? What about the inadequate visibility of pedestrians and strict enforcement of traffic laws? Aren’t these equally problematic?
We have to understand that people will keep making mistakes come what may; it is only the safe transport system and thorough traffic planning measures in place that can be forgiving of human error and duly consider everyone’s vulnerability to serious injury. Here are few ways that can turn around the things for better –
- Redesigning the Roadways
Missing sidewalks and signalized crossings are nothing but fatal for all. Roadways that are designed only according to the needs of motorized traffic and focused less on the safety of pedestrians walking alongside or crossing cause more injuries to people. If a particular street or lane has become a problem area in the community, there is an utmost need to redesign it entirely. Solutions like raised crosswalks, road diets, pedestrian crossing islands, and curb extensions can help.
- Reducing Pedestrians’ Exposure to the Vehicles
It is essential to keep the pedestrians away from speedy cars and bulky vehicles as much as possible in the first place. Building pedestrian overpasses and underpasses are one way to do so. Footpaths and marked crossings are a must too so the pedestrians and motorists know their right-of-way. Mass transport routes and stops on arterial roads also require attention as transit passengers are at high risk of crashes.
- Controlling the Vehicle Speeds
Speed management concept is more than enforcing driving limits. It aims at balancing the safety and efficiency of vehicles on roads. You must understand that the variability and large differentials in speed impact the entire traffic flow, thereby increasing the risk for drivers and pedestrians. A strategic approach is required to resolve this problem – separating slow and fast modes of transport and setting appropriate speed limits for different categories and qualities of roads.
- Installing Road Signs
Traffic signs provide valuable information to drivers and pedestrians. They help in representing the road rules and communicating messages to everyone for better safety and reduced number of accidents. You can see them in pictures instead of words to allow people to interpret easily and in a variety of shapes and colors, each with a specific meaning. These are majorly classified into regulatory (control/command/prohibition/reservation), warning (road layout/direction of movement), guidance (location/route markers/direction) and temporary or portable (command/prohibition). There are even more innovative options these days that come with highly reflective, micro-prismatic lens sheeting for night visibility.