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Old 13th August 2009, 13:59   #46
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May be if a few TBHPians in each city become Traffic Wardens, Friends of Police etc, we can reach the ears of the authorities. Else, initiate the people who are already in these capacities in to TBHP. Then we can lobby for the change we want.
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Old 14th August 2009, 06:30   #47
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Originally Posted by straightdrive View Post
Are you asking each TBHP member to adopt defensive and safe driving practices and stick to them without being influenced by the large number of road users whose driving is neither defensive nor safe? Or do you mean that TBHP as a community should come up with a code for driving safe and ask its members to adopt it and consider it a requirement of being a Team BHPian?

Either way, it will ultimately rest on the individual. But if you mean the second way, it seems a good idea. Though TBHP obviously can't enforce such a code, an appeal from them will have more persuasive power than from a single member in a single thread which all other members may or may not see. You would probably need to get in touch with the moderators to make a start and I will be glad to lend a hand to help this take off.

Appreciate your effort, both in raising this topic and in keeping it alive. As someone mentioned sometime back, the thread on accident pics which deals with the other side of the same coin, gets much more views - that's human nature.
To my mind the accident pics thread has become a place to do what people stop and do on the roads - unconstructive voyeurism, for the most part. I have stopped going there, I see no point in staying there to see every new pic that gets added.
The rest of your post is a much appreciated endorsement of what I am looking to promote. As is your offer to help. I know that the moderators have the big role to play, and I am confident that they will, once they decide to!
I like the code idea - it should not be too long of course, more like a ten commandments thing. And it can never be enforced. It will work only if people can associate calling themselves TBHPians with a sense of responsibility, and pride in being the elite that are leading a transformation of the Indian road culture.
I know there are some 50000 members - and I know that one person, by behaving differently every day, can have a huge ripple effect on the people he happens to touch. Imagine the multiplication if this becomes a movement - from isolated people to a team that grows. And by doing this, TBHP will in time earn the right to the public voice that will also be needed to be even more effective. But unless we act differently, consistently, we have no more right to a voice than the rest of our countrymen that fill the space with their mindless clamour about what their country should do for them. Like all the honking on the streets, that clamour is.
Will this happen overnight - of course not. Will this take a generation - perhaps. But if this generation does not start this with drive and a will, it will take more than a generation, and that is for sure.
PS: I drove in the UK a few years ago, and it took me a day to get used to the fact that a headlight flashed at you, meant you go first. What a huge difference in the mindset, shown by just that little flip of what the flash means there compared to what it means here. And transformations start with mindsets. To the SUV comment earlier, and in a lighter vein, I imagine that a SUV flash with bigger headlights flashing takes precedence over an 800's flash! Regardless of who flashed first. It is totally ridiculous, this flash to say I go first culture. Typically Indian, with more interest in my rights than in my responsibilities. One valid use of a flash is to overtake, and avoid the use of the horn. There too, we have managed to corrupt this to bully someone, but going right up to their tail and flashing like a demented person. And I see educated looking drivers in swanky cars doing this too, all the time. We have taught the uneducated drivers on the road how to behave, with our antics.
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Old 14th August 2009, 14:32   #48
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^^ very much appreciate and support the thoughts above you guys.

And yes i too have stopped visiting the accident pics and super car crashes pics threads for 5-6 months now!
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Old 17th August 2009, 07:07   #49
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Front page headline from today's Times of India, Pune - "India leads world in road deaths, 13 people die on our roads every hour - with at least 13 people dying every hour on Indian roads, India has topped the global list of deaths in road accidents, leaving behind the world's most populated country, China".
Way to go, fellow countrymen and women, who says we cannot lead the world in anything?
And those are absolute numbers, with a much smaller population of cars compared to China, and a long way behind the rest of the world. We really can dominate the world in this aspect, given the potential for growth, as more cars get added to our roads to catch up on the car ownership front.
PS: And someone has pointed out that the real numbers could be much higher, there is no estimate of how many injured in road accidents die a few hours or days after the accident. So, improved data collection can allow us to surge further ahead in this one area where we seem to be doing rather well.

Last edited by Sawyer : 17th August 2009 at 07:10. Reason: PS
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Old 17th August 2009, 07:12   #50
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who said cars are only responsible for road deaths what about the 'n' no of Trucks and busses on our roads etc
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Old 17th August 2009, 07:18   #51
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who said cars are only responsible for road deaths what about the 'n' no of Trucks and busses on our roads etc
Yes, as are the police, the RTO, the road making contractors, two wheelers, the government, God, uneducated and reckless pedestrians, car makers, uneducated drivers, and some others I haven't been able to think of. Lots of people that are responsible to change and improve to change that loutish and criminal culture of the Indian roads before I can think of anything I need to do about the roads in my country. After all that has been done, will I look in the mirror.
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Old 17th August 2009, 10:07   #52
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Posting the full article from Times Of India - A lot of food for thought really.

India leads world in road deaths: WHO - India - NEWS - The Times of India

Quote:
NEW DELHI: In a dubious distinction for the country, the World Health Organization has revealed in its first ever Global Status Report on Road
Safety that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world, including the more populous China.

Calling road fatalities an "epidemic" that will become the world's fifth biggest killer by 2030, the report said while rich nations had been able to lower their death rates, these were sharply on the rise in the third world. It said 90% of deaths on the world's roads occur in low and middle-income countries (21.5 and 19.5 per lakh of population, respectively) though they have just 48% of all registered vehicles.

The statistics for India are chilling. At least 13 people die every hour in road accidents in the country, the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau reveals. In 2007, 1.14 lakh people in India lost their lives in road mishaps ó thatís significantly higher than the 2006 road death figures in China, 89,455.

Road deaths in India registered a sharp 6.1% rise between 2006 and 2007. However, road safety experts say the real numbers could be higher since many of these accident cases are not even reported. "There is no estimate of how many injured in road accidents die a few hours or days after the accident," points out Rohit Baluja, member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration and Commission of Global Road Safety representing Asia.

The report, based on 2006 and 2007 statistics collected from 178 participating countries, said globally over 1.2 million people die in road accidents every year and 20-25 million people suffer non-fatal injuries.

Baluja said both central and state governments, while pushing for construction of more highways and roads, were doing precious little to make them safe. "We don't have scientific traffic engineering which forms the basis of road safety improvement practised in US and UK since 1930s. This still remains a matter of consultancy in India as we are yet to have our own traffic engineering wings," Baluja adds.

In fact, the report shows while only 3,298 people died in road accidents in UK in 2006, the figure, at 42,642, was much higher in the US.

The report pointed to speeding, drinking-driving and low use of helmets, seat belts and child restraints in vehicles as the main contributing factors. In 2004, road accidents was the top ninth cause of death in 2004.

"Speed is the main reason behind accidents. An increase in average speed is directly related to both the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of crash consequences. A 5% increase in average speed leads to an approximately 10% increase in crashes that cause injuries and a 20% increase in fatal crashes. Zones of 30 kmph can reduce crash risk and injury severity and are recommended in areas where vulnerable road users are particularly at risk," the report said.

Only 29% countries had managed to reduce traffic speed in urban areas and 10% have been effective in managing it. The report stated traffic calming measures were lacking in areas with no traffic segregation.

A brief analysis of the NCRB report points to Andhra Pradesh having the highest share of deaths due to road accidents (12%) followed by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (11% each).

Interestingly, contrary to the popular view of trucks being a major killer on roads, the report shows these to be the biggest victims of mishaps - 23,991 occupants of trucks and lorries lost their lives in 2007. This was followed by occupants of two-wheelers.
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Old 17th August 2009, 10:34   #53
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Not surprising. This is wake up call for all vehicle owners and the administration responsible for road and passenger safety.

As roads improve, the average speed of all vehicles are going to go up. I think we need to go the drastic route and impose strict European vehicle safety standards as we already do for pollution. Without that I feel that the death toll is just going to increase.

What is needed is enforcement as we already have rules that can successfully prevent such accidents.
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Old 17th August 2009, 10:40   #54
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Originally Posted by LastActionHero View Post

What is needed is enforcement as we already have rules that can successfully prevent such accidents.
Yep. Vehicle safety is good but preventing accidents is much easier. Everyone just needs to follow the darn rules. But its one huge mountain making the cops and drivers work on this.
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Old 19th August 2009, 08:26   #55
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Copied from another post of mine today in another thread -
Quote
Indians have this unfortunate tendency of waiting for their world - India in this instance - to be fixed for them before taking any steps to change themselves, or even look in the mirror to see if any change is called for. This is human nature to an extent, but our lack of civic sense of community has allowed us to be the best in the world at this.
Be the change you want to see, a truly great Indian said. Too few of us have taken that message to heart. And educated Indians are the worst offenders, they offend inspite of the education ( so called education?).
The other typically Indian trait is to be schoolyard bullies, until we see authority wielding a big stick that cannot be corrupted. Then we become docile, even gutless, little lambs, falling over ourselves to fall in line.
Unquote
I am seeing quite a few separate threads on the safety subject come to the fore in the forum, in the last few days - other than this thread, and the voyeuristic one of pictures of accidents. Something to build on, perhaps...
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:16   #56
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What about the pedestrians, throwing themselves in front of speeding vehicles on the highway like lemmings, not to talk about myriad four legged beings using the raod as their parlour, and bicyclists turning with no indication whatsoever?
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:48   #57
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What about the pedestrians, throwing themselves in front of speeding vehicles on the highway like lemmings, not to talk about myriad four legged beings using the raod as their parlour, and bicyclists turning with no indication whatsoever?
That, Sir, is a fact of life on Indian roads. Whether we like it or not. Over time that will change, but until it does, that is the environment we have learn to drive safely in. Let us be the change we want to see, and let others do what they need to. I believe that the first cannot be dependent on the second, if this country is to progress.
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Old 19th August 2009, 15:10   #58
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In all these reports, there did not appear to be any basic suggestions to be implemented. As others have stated - huge 2 wheeler (and 4 wheeler) and pedestrian population all competing for the same space, will result in accidents. Another huge contributing factor is delayed medical assistance.

Road manners in fact seem to be taking a turn for the worse - instances of wrong way driving (to save a few meters or paise of diesel petrol), signal breaking, complete lack of lane discipline, etc. are all increasing. So too are the accidents.

IMO the following will make a huge impact on fatalities:

1. Jaywalking is an offence - just like the helmet/seatbelt rule, ensure that anybody crossing at 'red man' is penalised - maybe Rs. 20/- even. Walking on the road when footpath is available - Rs. 50/-. Result = fatalities -25%.
2. Improve road engineering, provisions for pedestrians on highways (both crossing as well as movement) and segregation of different types of traffic.
3. Enforcement of working lights.
4. Complete overhaul of licensing system.

But sadly, all pervasive corruption and vote bank politics make it unlikely that India will change anytime soon. Hopefully in another 60 years?
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:45   #59
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But sadly, all pervasive corruption and vote bank politics make it unlikely that India will change anytime soon. Hopefully in another 60 years?
I had it dinned into my head in an earlier job - Hope is not a strategy! Why would India change if none of us did anything to make that happen? Do we expect a magic wand to deliver us into an India of tomorrow? Was a magic wand waved over Germany and Japan, post WW2? Or South Korea in the last 30 years? If this generation is going to talk this way, we are going to be just as guilty as many generations that preceded us, that too did just this kind of escapist thinking and detached talking.
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:58   #60
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On the subject of driving and accidents, I just picked up a book that promises to be very informative and entertaining. Titled - Traffic, Why we drive the way we do, and what it says about us. By Tom Vanderbilt. Available via Penguin India, and a book that every car driver should read, I believe.
Here is a sentence in the early pages -
The road is a place where many millions of us, with only loose parameters for how to behave, are thrown together daily in a kind of massive petri dish in which all kinds of uncharted, little understood dynamics are at work.
It goes on to say why people who are perfectly courteous to each other, even to strangers, in person, can be very aggressive to them when behind the wheel in a car. While I have just started what promised to be a fascinating read, what struck me is that one does find in the US, and in a lot of W Europe, a lot of courtesy in public places. Which vanishes on the roads. In India, we don't give a damn about strangers even when we meet them or come across them in person, as is borne out by the behaviour seen at checking in counters, baggage belts, bill payment stations in stores etc, where crowding the stranger and cutting across him in a visible queue is the norm. Given that our baseline behaviour is dubious in the first place, it is not a wonder that we are headed for world domination in the road death numbers.
A highly recommended book, it may even save you from an accident. At a minimum, it will entertain and inform.

Last edited by Sawyer : 25th August 2009 at 15:00.
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