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Old 16th June 2009, 15:34   #16
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I am sure there are many factors that goes into consideration while setting the speed limit, and not just the design of the highway.

Most of the developed coutries have a speed limit of 60-70 mph. But the fact is that even the slowest car there is probably moving at above 40 mph.

On Indian roads you can expect to have trucks or tractors as well as animals on the road. If driving at 80 instead of 120 reduces the chance of fatality by even 1% then that is probably more than 100 lives saved.
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Old 16th June 2009, 15:42   #17
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On Indian roads you can expect to have trucks or tractors as well as animals on the road. If driving at 80 instead of 120 reduces the chance of fatality by even 1% then that is probably more than 100 lives saved.
The goal should be what can we do to do away with trucks that are underpowered or not designed to make the best possible use of roads. Not to pull every one down in the context of safety. Like many people said, accidents happen not because of speed, but because of slow moving traffic, unmarked diversions, pedestrians in expressway, traffic in the wrong lane etc. These are the cause for accidents more than speed in my view.

BTW, for all those marvelling at GQ. The new government has asked the NHAI to redraw the specifications so that roads become attractive for investors. They have been given specific direction to do away with underpasses and overpasses which are expensive. This means, all those flyover you zip through in GQ will no longer be available for future roads.

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Old 16th June 2009, 16:04   #18
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BTW, for all those marvelling at GQ. The new government has asked the NHAI to redraw the specifications so that roads become attractive for investors.
So now there will be malls and multiplexes on the GQ with long lines to enter the parking which will overflow on to the 90 kph lane? That will be investor-friendly, won't it?
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Old 16th June 2009, 16:08   #19
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Let us look at some facts.

Quoting from this TOI article.
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A study has revealed that there is a direct connection between increase in speed and the number of fatal accidents. "Pedestrians will survive if they are hit by a car travelling at a speed less than 30 kmph. But, death becomes almost certain if it exceeds 50 kmph. Every 10 per cent increase in speed in urban areas results in a 40% rise in cases of personal injury, 30% rise in number of fatal accidents and 20% rise in all accidents,'' said Prof S S Chakraborty, another expert.
Quoting from this article.
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130,000 deaths in India due to road accidents in 2007
Around 40% of all Road accident death occured in highways
80% of the road accidents victims are either pedestrians or two-wheelers
Speed limits keep others safe from you.
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Old 16th June 2009, 16:15   #20
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So now there will be malls and multiplexes on the GQ with long lines to enter the parking which will overflow on to the 90 kph lane? That will be investor-friendly, won't it?
Yeah. Look at Outer Ring Road in Bangalore. It was built for quick passage of heavy vehicles so that they don't have to enter city. Now, its become so investor friendly that trucks are banned during a certain period of the day.

:(
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Old 16th June 2009, 16:33   #21
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So now there will be malls and multiplexes on the GQ with long lines to enter the parking which will overflow on to the 90 kph lane? That will be investor-friendly, won't it?
Actually the otherway. Because of NHAI insisting on overpasses/underpasses near city bypasses to prevent pedestrian/local traffic crossing, the cost of the project goes high and there are no takers to build the roads. That is why the UPA govt asking NHAI to revise the specs and do away with high cost structures. Like in Krishnagiri, you go over the flyover in GQ, while the local traffic goes below. Such structures are expensive.If they are cut down, there will be signals in GQ/Highways.

Watashi, my point about expressways is not to allow pedestrians in highways. Or atleast control access and at those places have reduced speedlimits. No one questions the fact that pedestrians are the most vulnerable ones, but, hey, GQ/Highways are not for pedestrian traffic.

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Old 16th June 2009, 19:12   #22
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Speed limits keep others safe from you.
Actually you meant "you safe from others", right?

Slower speeds means you have enough reaction time to deal with pedestrians who have been bequeathed the right to cross roads without looking left or right, and all those cows, dogs, cats, cyclists, bikers who are very happy to play the russian roulette.

Let me make it clear, I am not happy with the traffic flow on our roads now; but we really have no choice. Unless the social conditions improve, untill people realise that they have to obey the rules and look before they cross the roads, and learn to obey lane discipline, I believe that we may be actually better off with the existing speed limits.
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Old 16th June 2009, 19:54   #23
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Most humans need a stick held over them to ensure they behave. People in developed countries observe speed limits more out of concern that they will be fined/their license taken away than concern that exceeding the limits may be dangerous to them or others.

In India, the stick is almost never raised, leave alone used and therefore people don't bother about speed limits. It is only recently that cops have started stopping people for speeding and that too on an extremely small number of roads.

I don't think there is any doubt that if speed limits are observed, there will be fewer crashes. While talking about them, the natural tendency is to justify speeding by saying the limits here are too low and not sensible. But a guy in a powerful car is always going to have a higher limit in mind as a sensible limit than the people sitting behind desks and making the rules.

An equally valid reason for breaking them is because everyone knows they are unlikely to be penalised. Till enforcement becomes regular, it doesn't matter if the limit on a highway is a ridiculously low 40 kph or a comparatively more reasonable 80 kph - there will still be people driving at 120.
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Old 16th June 2009, 21:00   #24
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Actually you meant "you safe from others", right?
Depends on which side you happen to be!

Most of us here are privileged ones and have our own cars. If you see the statistics it is mostly pedestrians and two wheelers who are at maximum risk. So they need to be wary of us!
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Old 17th June 2009, 11:54   #25
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@anainar: If you try to reduce costs by making signalled intersection on highways, you will slow down traffic. Making a stretch fast and signal free often makes it more expensive.

One way to recover is to increase toll. But you know how this country works, many of us will be happy to pay higher toll due to better signal free stretches but most villagers and truckers will go on strike and block the roads to protest against higher toll.

Which raises another point, let's say village A & B are 3 kms apart on an expressway and there's a toll booth in between and no service lane. Would you pay Rs 45/- toll everytime you cross on a tractor with a sack of grain?
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Old 17th June 2009, 13:13   #26
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@anainar: If you try to reduce costs by making signalled intersection on highways, you will slow down traffic. Making a stretch fast and signal free often makes it more expensive.

Which raises another point, let's say village A & B are 3 kms apart on an expressway and there's a toll booth in between and no service lane. Would you pay Rs 45/- toll everytime you cross on a tractor with a sack of grain?
Yes, I agree that signalless fast lanes cost money. But the new government's mandate is to reduce cost by removing those expensive structures. I would not mind paying a higher toll for higher safety to me as well as other road users. In fact NHAI tolls as not that cheap. It is @60 paise per kilometer. Compared to European toll ways, this is cheap, but not by Indian standards.

But the NHAI has schemes for localites. Local people who are in situation like you mentioned can get free passes ( or monthly ones paying nominal fees ). So, that issue is addressed already.

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Old 17th June 2009, 13:24   #27
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Ha ha ha, architect bhai - Ek aur timepass thread, that too from you!!

You know what I, of all people, think

PS: I think we need to introduce a new challan for all the dufuses who do 60 kph in the RIGHTMOST on places like the NH8 expressway. Cowardly/Lazy/selfish Lane-hoggers!!!!
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Old 17th June 2009, 14:48   #28
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Speedlimits, while good, cannot be enforced while all other road rules can be flouted.

As long as all road rules are enforced, even speed limits like 80 can work, because it becomes your average speed(well, almost). The situation in India is that, even if you drive at twice the speed limit, your average speed over a distance of 500km would be well under the legal speed limit, due to the driving conditions.

IFF, the trucks would drive on the slow lane, the TVS50's and tractors would not come on the wrong side in the fast lane, people would only use the fast lane for overtaking etc, I see a point in observing the speed limits. Otherwise, I am going to use my judgement about what is a safe speed for the road condition and the vehicle I am in.
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Old 17th June 2009, 19:04   #29
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A good topic for discussion. even better, the viewpoints!!

As some of you have mentioned, India or abroad, I try to drive with the flow. The NHAI has setup some of the best roadsigns here in India. But still a couple of things that linger in my mind:
1. Whats the funda behind a 'go slow' board on a highway. Up to what distance does this rule apply.
2. Worse still, whats with the STOP signs on a highway junction? Aren't the vehicles on the merging roads supposed to stop and yield for you (I know this is not the way it works in most cases). But keeping a STOP sign almost everywhere reduces the significance of the sign.
As long as the signs defy common sense, I'm not inclined to follow it.

Disclosure: I'm very careful with signals (at nights I go slow even if I have green - you never know who is at the other road). But at seperated highways, I drive at 130-140, a speed I feel comfortable; other highways at 90-100.
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Old 18th June 2009, 09:52   #30
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1. There are an equally large number of silly rules about other things, like paying substantial amount of money and undergoing substantial trouble to transfer registration from one state to another. We (generally) don't flout these. There are equally stupid rules in Income Tax and any other departments which we follow.

2. Speed limits are determined (generally) keeping the "design speed" of the road in mind along with other factors. Transport Planning and Road design is a huge subject in itself. Even designing the basic intersection of a township is fairly complex task. They are not a joke. NHAI fixes limits on some scientific principles. I am not talking of an arbitrary signage put up at places.

3. At the end of the day, we can't flout all rules because we find them silly. And how come we become obedient the moment enforcement becomes stricter?

4. For improvement of road conditions and attitude of users, will even a 100 years be enough? And till then, will we continue flouting speed limits?

5. I don't intend to sound holier-than-thou. I am equally guilty ..
1) Because they are necessary to avoid trouble. But there is one more way to look at this. We pay all the tax, tax on house, tax on transfer of vehicle, tax on fuel, etc., etc., but then what we are getting at the end of the day. Yes, I very well understand that we are not here to do business with our motherland, but then we do expect good quality of fuel and road and proper security. Its more of necessity than luxury.
Do we get that ? NO. So the government cannot expect us to obey rules. The government is simply not doing its job well.

2) I hope some pretty serious scientific calculations are done for making a road so that it survives the monsoon. But what is the end reality ? If at all some calculations are done in any place, I am sure our roads will last longer.
I doubt that NHAI does takes steps and scientific study practically. It might be there in theory, but in am sure they are not implemented practically.
Example : Our so called, still incomplete expresshighways are built for speed limit of 120 kmph. What speeds do they allow at Mumbai-Pune NE ? 80 kmph. Why ?

If a road is properly built with 120 kmph in mind, then even a car like M800 can be comfortable at that speed on that road. Why are we not allowed to do 120 ?

3) Its not that rules are silly, they are just purley illogical and unfair. And yes, if they become stricter, we will obey them, but then we will have less road users for that road. If we are forced to travel at 80 kmph for NE-1 stretch ( between A'bad and Vadodara ), we did rather do that stretch no NH8. We pay the horribly high toll tax ( one more tax ) not for moving around at 80kmph.

4) We will not improve even after 1000 years.

5) You are not the only one guilty. For that matter, tell me how many TBHPians are not guilty ? I too accept that I have done seriously high speeds in Baleno with S rated tyres. Normally for tyres, I safely deduct 15 kmph from their speed rating considering the tyre quality and temperature we have in India. But I have crossed ( sorry to reveal the top speed I have done ) 180 kmph indicated in 4th gear in Baleno on NE-1.

I hope none of my friends read this and inform my dad about this. Family was asleep in the car when I did this.
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