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Old 12th October 2018, 14:20   #16
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCORPION View Post
4. I hate to say this, but have WELL MARKED (for both day and night) speed breakers at the most vulnerable locations.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/59209813.cms

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
Musts / Do's /Don'ts and all that have never worked in past (almost a century)
Now, how do you bring the transformation in the education system so that they will be educated and bring down the accidents ?

I am not defensive here. But, in the past, when Baricades on either side of the road and Humps were introduced to avoid accidents, similar statements came up as the initial response.
I remember hearing the comments like "Practically, does it make sense to install barricades for kilometers across both the sides of the road ? Is it sensible investment?"

But, today, these are the only solutions proved to be helping.
You are being defensive, and that's okay. Your opinion, and you must defend it. It is just that your attitude is what hasn't worked in a century.

The education system is what needs to be fixed. It is not a short term solution, but that is what politicians are usually looking for - something that will bring headlines, so that they can get another tenure for obvious reasons.

In this case however I haven't mentioned the education system. I have clearly stated that all villagers in the vicinity of the highway (on either side and those with reason to cross at any point) must be educated on who is responsible for eventualities. The road is for cars, plain and simple. It's not a large complex technical message, it is a simple one-liner (oversimplified, but close enough).

The police in the area would also mandatorily need to be educated on this fact. They must not bring charges against vehicles unless the incident occurs in a spot where pedestrians/cattle have priority.

This of course is within the limited scope of this discussion. The broader topic of road safety cannot be addressed without mandatory (airline pilot style) education requirements and licensing reforms, driver education at the school level, and better traffic policing by properly educated traffic police.
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Old 12th October 2018, 15:35   #17
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

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Originally Posted by shreevishnu View Post
My 2 cents-
1. Driver awareness as a strategy can be effective when the same drivers use the same stretch of highway often. (Frequently buses and truck drivers on regular routes)
2. However, this is rarely the case.(for private car users)
3. Many times accidents are due to the new driver + road combination.
Yes, Sir, you are right. But, still, driver awareness needs to be pursued here. We can try giving a flyer to the rivers whenever they make a stop at a toll booth.

Quote:
In this situation, there are 2 solutions:
1. Infrastructural changes (magic box at each village, and barricades in heavily populated areas to minimise jay walking and animals on the road)
Infrastructural changes are decided upon a mix of various factors, and will take time.
Quote:
2. Behavioural changes in the population via improvement in road safety awareness among the villagers.
This is the option on which we can work a lot, using various departments like the concerned Panchayats, schools, health facilities, Anganwadi Centres, etc.
Quote:
3. Each village with the road passing through it can be incentivised to be safe while using/crossing the road.
But how do we do that?
Quote:
I hate to say it, but many times, the best way to improve road safety is to get the villagers who have frequent usage of the road to be careful rather than hope an occasional user will be aware of all the details.

Surely, in an ideal world drivers should be more careful, but the best way to lower accidents could be more alert local populations.
Many of such issues boils down to improving IEC. I have seen people working on the NH, while their kids continue to play on the highway. We need to sensitize people about the most basic of things.

Also, thanks for replying.
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Old 12th October 2018, 15:39   #18
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/59209813.cms

You are being defensive, and that's okay. Your opinion, and you must defend it. It is just that your attitude is what hasn't worked in a century.

The education system is what needs to be fixed. It is not a short term solution, but that is what politicians are usually looking for - something that will bring headlines, so that they can get another tenure for obvious reasons.

In this case however I haven't mentioned the education system. I have clearly stated that all villagers in the vicinity of the highway (on either side and those with reason to cross at any point) must be educated on who is responsible for eventualities. The road is for cars, plain and simple. It's not a large complex technical message, it is a simple one-liner (oversimplified, but close enough).

The police in the area would also mandatorily need to be educated on this fact. They must not bring charges against vehicles unless the incident occurs in a spot where pedestrians/cattle have priority.

This of course is within the limited scope of this discussion. The broader topic of road safety cannot be addressed without mandatory (airline pilot style) education requirements and licensing reforms, driver education at the school level, and better traffic policing by properly educated traffic police.
I think this is going off topic. This is my last post on this topic. Let us agree to disagree

For a second, I will agree to your point of educating the villagers (and cattles also?) and all others including police.

Let us think practically, who will do this activity given the megacity of the problem?

Given the No. of highways in the country, No. of Villages that comes across each highway, the population of villagers in each of the villages, Syllabus of how they should walk, how should they behave, Do's and Dont's, AND finally, ensuring that they follow all that they learnt, Monitoring their behavior on highways, Fine mechanism if they deviate from the training, The list goes on.

In a country where we are struggling to provide basic education and increase the literacy % of the country for the past 75 years(I am not blaming, but this is a fact), do you expect some one(Obviously Government )to take up this task and complete it? Adding to complexity, please note, this is NOT a one time activity but a ONGOING activity for the generations to come.

If still there are expectations, then it is just great expectation. We can keep typing on the keyboard, stating our expectations. But, practically, I do not see a solution
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Old 12th October 2018, 18:21   #19
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Will be hard to design solution without data on accident hot spots & frequent crossing points on this highway. You'll need to consider incremental steps - focus on reducing fatalities in accident prone zones and extend the focus progressively to encompass wider sections of this highway.
For accident prone areas - reducing vehicle speeds from 120 to 70 kmph can be part of the solution. German autobahns have streched restricted to 70kms in areas where deer are known to cross or in streches close to towns ( to reduce noise ). In the indian context lower speed zones make sense when coupled with speed cameras and hefty fines. Lower speeds = shorter breaking distances. Im no expert but changing mindsets is usually a not something that yields results in the short term...good luck on your endevour !

Last edited by Zed : 12th October 2018 at 18:24.
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Old 12th October 2018, 18:57   #20
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Seems to be an amazing initiative!

With fake videos going viral on WhatsApp in rural areas, the best thing to do is to create a video of a man carelessly crossing the road and getting killed by a speeding truck/car. The more disturbing the video, the more people will be careful when they cross the road next time.

Besides, with people forwarding videos like there's no tomorrow, it'll be one of the fastest ways to bring the message home! It'll certainly work in the short term!

For the long term, education is the only way out!
Also speed cameras or police patrol at vulnerable areas will help slow down the traffic.
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Old 12th October 2018, 21:33   #21
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Incentives for local enforcement can be provided when there is a zero accident time period. By linking incentives of the enforcer to the accident rates, they are quite likely to come up with good innovative solutions.
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Old 12th October 2018, 22:23   #22
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Four-lane national highways should be barricaded along its entire length with designated entry and exit points only for vehicles without any crossing. For the movement of people, cattle or other vehicles, as other BHPians have suggested in previous posts, underpasses work the best.
For rest of the roads,
1. Maintain speed according to the condition of the road and traffic if you are a driver.
2. Invest in educating school children now so that you prepare a generation with civic and traffic sense for future.
3. Get overhead bridges. Thailand has these every km and it helps.
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Old 12th October 2018, 22:55   #23
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Reduce accidents? Well, there are 2 major issues to address.

1. Get domesticated animals off the roads. Cows, dogs, sheep, goats, all of that. Else, this (and worse) happens:

Stop having grassy central verges which entice these animals to loiter on the roads, and prevent easy access for these animals from the field on to the road (ditches, cowcatchers, barbed wire fencing). Most roads are toll-paid, and the money can certainly address this problem instead of being pocketed by unknown entities.

2. Enforce strict vigilance regarding driving on the wrong side of the road. No local tractors or mini-trucks, no motorcyclists, and no cyclists. There have to be designated well-marked crossing areas at regular intervals, as well as access lanes to the sides of the main carriageway to allow contra-flow traffic, based on real-time surveys of how, why and where people cross.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 12th October 2018 at 22:57.
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Old 13th October 2018, 08:47   #24
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

A good and worthwhile initiative.

Good suggestions by @AlphaKilo.

A road cutting through a village changes their lifestyle - for good or bad is for them to decide and also deprives them of the usual routes of travel .

In almost all the roads I have travelled pedestrian safety is the one given least importance. Each village you cross will have one or 2 illuminated crossings. The HD or NHAI usually provides pedestrian passage at the centre of the village stretch. From the villager's perspective its unfair to ask him to take an underpass that's 500 mts away when all he has to do is cross the road to reach his destination.

1. It will be good if you are able to identify the crossing locations and build underpasses so that people and cattle can cross safely. More underpasses will mean more people encouraged to use.

2. Educate the villagers through announcements on PA system on the need to use the crossings for their own safety.

3. Speed limit warnings and rumbler strips to alert drivers of the approaching crossings.

4. A traffic signal if it warrants with sufficient notifications of the same for the drivers on NH. Seriously - There is one such signal in Ambur town, TN on the GQ. No where else have I seen such an arrangement.
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Old 13th October 2018, 09:16   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Very nice to hear from you, and to see engagement in such a manner. I agree that solving the problem is extremely hard, but instead of throwing up our hands and giving up, it is definitely nice to see an attempt being made.

Fundamentally, there is a conflict. Yeah, like you needed me to point that out

The conflict is, a village - and its occupants - occupy an area, and a road cuts through that area in getting from point A to point B. Which means that when those villagers live and move around in that area, they are obviously going to cross the road.
Thank you sir for the encouragement. As we all are equal stakeholders in this, I truly hope that some good comes from our brainstorming.

Quote:
It would be helpful to know what sort of traffic is expected. Just people/elders crossing? Animal herds like goats? Tractors pulling crops? Each of them face different risks from vehicles on the road, and pose different threats to vehicles on the road.
Based on anecdotal evidence, the majority is women and youngsters crossing the road. Cattle herds are omnipresent on the roads. Lack of street lighting further compounds the problem.

Quote:
If it is people and herds, then it would be good to see if the NHAI can assist in providing underpasses (i.e. magic boxes) where the terrain is suitable, for people/herds/two-wheelers/autos to cross the road safely without crossing that flow of traffic.
Will definitely raise this with NHAI, but they cannot be implemented across all the villages.

Quote:
Larger vehicles like tractors will have to use the highway (due to size and weight constraints) but enforcement on them should be strict - they are after all commercial vehicles driven by professional drivers, and must therefore be held to a far higher standard.
This is a good idea. I can try implementing a road safety awareness drive for the tractor owners. I can also try linking the same with the banks and tractor dealers.

Quote:
Stray cattle - the only safeguard is fencing both the sides of the highway, as well as the median (which has tasty plants!), and giving them the means of crossing via underpasses.
A lot of fencing has been done on this NH but the lack of funds remains a continuous issue. Also, the villagers generally rue the presence of fencing and devise ways to work around them.

Quote:
The other thing that often causes an intersection of people is the prevalence of shops selling tea, juice, fruits, cigarettes, food, etc. This cannot be avoided or banned - it is simple supply and demand. However, what could be done is instead of letting these shops come up willy-nilly, the administration sets apart a rest stop type of area, with adequate parking, and floor space on rent to vendors. That should ensure that vehicles have pre-defined places to stop for breaks.
Commerical presence is nearly negligible on this NH.

Quote:
Education would be nice, as well. It would be quite eye-opening to illustrate - for example - the braking distance of a car travelling at a legal 80 km/h vs. a speed that villagers might travel at on non-highway roads (e.g. 40 km/h, which can feel fast on a moped).

For instance, the time & distance taken for a car to come to a halt, vs. the time taken for a slightly elderly person to cross just half the highway (i.e. median to one side).
This is a fantastic idea. I will try to incorporate it in our IEC module.

Quote:
Likewise, this should also underscore the need for people to check well ahead for approaching vehicles before making manoeuvres like crossing lanes of traffic in a vehicle, or making a U-turn.

Enforcement of certain egregious violations (driving on the wrong side, for example, or reversing on the highway) should also be brought about for all - not just the residents of the villages, but also the motorists on the highway.
Enforcement becomes a little difficult because it is difficult to cover such a large area. Another issue is that a lot of policemen are not conscious of these rules. We can start by trying to organize a workshop for the enforcement agencies on such matters.

Thank you for your valuable inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The best way to begin would be strict enforcement of traffic rules. It'll bring solutions overnight. For more longer-term thinking, education & awareness etc., but for now, start off with hefty penalties & zero tolerance for offenders.
Yes sir. This is a simple concept but difficult to implement. We can try picking up a few spots with high accident rate and start from there.

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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
[b]

What if a large billboard with a graphic image of a bad road accident is erected just before the entry of the village? Right below this billboard you could have a sign saying "speed checking zone starts. Speed limit 60kmph"(or whatever limit is practical).A clearly visible police jeep could be parked a few hundred meters from the sign.

The graphic image itself could psychologically induce the motorist to slow down. For the diehard (no pun intended) speed demon, the threat of a fine could bring about the necessary moderation.

You could also experiment by only keeping the jeep in two out of the five village locations. It might be interesting to see whether just the sign itself might do the job.

This idea is heavily influenced by two of Richard Thaler's books - "Nudge" and "Misbehaving".
Great ideas sir.

I can ask the team about whether we can use such a billboard. Jeep availability can be scheduled to make themselves present during the morning and evening times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
One suggestion I can provide is multiple under-passes made with pre-fabricated box sections. Like how the Railways added one pass recently without remove the track above.

I believe this would be the best option. Once these are in place, just isolate the highway with no access from the sides to the other side, for atleast a kilometre before and after the villages.

Will cost a bit, but should work faster than trying to educate them and making them follow rules you and I see are "for their safety"
Yes sir. This would be the best option. But this is going to be too costly and will take time to implement.

Last edited by bblost : 13th October 2018 at 09:30. Reason: back to back
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Old 13th October 2018, 12:42   #26
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

I have gone through the whole thread and let me consolidate the points that I think will work:

1. District administration will already have the accident hotspots with them. NHAI and state PWD to work together to eliminate the bad road designs that cause these spots to be hotspots.

2. To stop planting shrubs in the medians of highways. These shrubs are culprits in:
a) increases the incidence of cattle in highways by providing them food.
b) hides cattle, dogs, pedestrians crossing the highway from cars until the last moment.

3. Wherever highways cross villages, provide zebra crossing every 250-300 metres (only inside village limits) and barricade the median in the stretches of villages, apart from zebra crossing. Also provide rumbling strips 100-150 metres before every zebra crossing so that vehicles get 4-7 seconds reaction time before zebra crossings. Provide IEC for villagers to use zebra crossings alone.

4. Intensify highway patrols. Provide them with Dashcam, speed guns, breathalyser. Show zero tolerance to law violations. Fine to be paid in next toll booth for documented violations- real time info sharing from patrol to toll booth. Wrong side driving vehicles, DUI to penalised and recommend cancellation of license to RTO.

The above points are short term solutions can be implemented by a district collector. But the long term solution is possible only by legislatives. It is:

10th standard (SSLC) is the minimum requirement for driving license. So, Central government should enact a law and encourage states to enact similar laws (as education is in concurrent list) that:
- 'Road safety' should be a compulsory separate subject from 6th standard upto SSLC (10th standard).
- It should cover the important features of Motor Vehicles Act, defensive driving, road safety.
- The subject should have weightage equal to Maths, Science, Social science etc. and can be taken in the medium of instruction of the school, either English or any official languages.
- So, by 10th standard, all students will know the basis of road rules and safety. Only those with 18 years of age PLUS 75% or more marks in 10th standard in 'Road safety' subject should be able to apply for Learners license.

Last edited by GTO : 14th October 2018 at 08:47. Reason: As requested :)
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Old 13th October 2018, 23:00   #27
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

There is only one way to make roads safer: teach people how to drive, ride, and even walk, properly on them. Teach them to take responsibility for themselves; to accept that accidents are their fault; not the road's fault; to have some consideration for the safety of others as well as themselves.

Yep, sorry, it is that hard.

It is not that building safer roads doesn't count, of course it does. It is stupid to build dangerous ones! But roads don't kill people: people kill people.
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Old 14th October 2018, 03:17   #28
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

If education solved everything laws would not be needed. The people follow the law when it is enforced properly and when they know they will be penalised.

The following are some suggestions which if you find appropriate can be implemented as a pilot project at the village with the most accidents:

1.Install full road width sign boards with applicable speed limits, hefty fine, imprisonment duration and mandatory 3 months cancellation of driving licence in case of violation.

2.At a certain distance from the signboard, Install radar based speed indicators which display 'actual speed' within speed limits and display 'Slow Down' if vehicle is overspeeding.
Image for reference:
Source:https://www.ru2systems.com/products/...ar-speed-sign/
Name:  Fast450SlowDown.jpg
Views: 686
Size:  74.5 KB

3.Have a camera attached to the above equipment which automatically takes a picture of the vehicle in case of overspeeding after a fair warning.
Enforce the law in case of violations with the help of traffic police at the upcoming toll. This approach is tech based with documentary evidence hence no partiality or bribes can work.

4.Install flashing pole lights on village-highway intersections so as to alert the vehicles of an intersection at night and at times of poor visibility.

5.Work with NH maintenance department/NGO/Village Panchayats to devise a strategy to remove the cattle from highways and transport them to a secured place where the owner of the cattle may be charged the cost of such activity to release them from custody.

6.In case of paucity of funds, a minuscule amount (Say, Re.1) of toll could be increased until the cost of equipment and construction is recovered.

7.Median 'U Turn' could be built if space permits, eliminating intersections where possible. This will ensure smooth traffic flow and less disruptions.

8.Recent scientific updates and maybe even under-trial research could be requested from Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) for the same.

I am not in favour of constructing Speed Breakers as it in a way punishes even those people who are driving within limits and abiding by the rules, much like the sunfilm ban.

A holistic approach with inputs from all the parties is required to make an action plan and implement it. I wish you all the success in your endeavour and hope what you implement can be applied elsewhere in the country too.
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Old 14th October 2018, 14:00   #29
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

As mentioned in the opening post, this discussion is limited to a district where the stretch of road is excellent for vehicles, and the conflict is largely between the cars the occupants of the surrounding villages.

The funds for this project are presumably limited to those that can be generated within the district.

I am breaking down my suggestions based on the "Way forward" section of the opening post:

1. How to reduce the number of accidents in the short-run

- Radio, local newspaper, pamphlets in the languages most common to the area informing the people of their rights and responsibilities.

- RIGHTS:
* People and their vehicles/animals have every right of safe crossing
* The road crossing should be relatively convenient to access, and should not involve conflict with vehicles on the highway
* Centralised feedback and demand-based, guaranteed time-bound action on requests for additional pedestrian crossings
- RESPONSIBILITIES:
* People will be held responsible for themselves, their dependents, and their vehicles/animals crossing the highway through means other than those provided
* People must negotiate with the district administration on the number and kinds of crossings constructed
2. How to bring about a behavioral change in the residents of villages lying along NH53
Short Term:
- Education camps for the villagers utilising the Voter DB to ensure that all residents have been covered. This should only cover the "who is at fault" portion in case of accidents, condensed into 30 minute sessions to ensure full attention.
- Limit Q&A to save time, and also make things black and white with no room to negotiate a "what if". If a speeding car hits a jaywalker, then even though technically they both are at fault, the accident wouldn't have happened if the jaywalker wasn't there. It is plain and simple, and staying within the scope of this exercise.
Note that the regulation of vehicles and fines for breaking the rules can be addressed separately because the vehicles on the highway would mostly be transient and not residents of the area's villages.


Long Term:
- The child is the father of the man. If children are socially included and educated, they frequently bring about societal change. I'm sure it will be an effort, but the basics of the CMV rules, driver and pedestrian etiquette, and most importantly who is at fault in pedestrian-vehicle conflict situations (not the usual who has "Right of Way") must be taught.

3. How to reduce the number of cattle present on the road?

- Local Vehicles Crossing:
In some other countries, there aren't any road crossings or breaks in the highway dividers. The NHAI on the other hand allows a break in the divider of a highway at a minimum of two kilometers. This is a cause of accidents.
The solution is to have highway traffic intending to turn right leave the highway via an off-ramp to the left, and cross the highway via an over-bridge/underpass. Round-abouts short of the over-bridge/underpass on either side of the highway connected to village roads will ensure smooth merging of highway traffic with those from the villages.
Highway edges beyond the shoulders should be made uncrossable by either creating a ditch or 3 feet tall RCC barriers (vehicle barriers only).
- Local Pedestrians Crossing:
Education being the first step in ensuring knowledge of the crime of crossing the road itself (jaywalking), all pedestrians crossing must be immediately and heavily fined (heavily being relative to local median income levels) without exception immediately following the first round of elder education. Advice to attend such education sessions must be given to those that claim ignorance of the rules, but without waiver of the fine.
Once the education sessions for elders is complete (i.e. all residents have been educated), continuing education centre(s) should be made available for locals to refresh their knowledge, and also to report a requirement for pedestrian overpasses.
- Animal/Cattle Crossing:
Dedicated underpasses - fewer than pedestrian crossings - to be constructed at existing identified crossing areas. Cattle found roaming on the highway must be impounded (sent to the pound) with the owner allowed a period of 7 days to collect the animal after paying a fine, following which the animal will be auctioned off at an amount not lower than five times the fine amount
4. Any other insights defined by the community.
This is not going to be a short-term project, and the intent of the administration should not be to gain plaudits for themselves, but to set an example for the rest of the country.
My thoughts, others are welcome to agree/disagree.
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Old 14th October 2018, 15:36   #30
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Default Re: Crowdsourcing ideas to reduce accidents - I'm helping the District Administration

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreevishnu View Post
Incentives for local enforcement can be provided when there is a zero accident time period. By linking incentives of the enforcer to the accident rates, they are quite likely to come up with good innovative solutions.
This might be counterproductive, registering an FIR now is quite a pain, if there is an incentive on recording minimum number of accidents, then getting a FIR would be an even bigger hurdle.
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