Ever watched recurrent accidents, bright or dried red stains, metal twisted out of shape on paved bitumen, broken windshields and distress-signalling ambulances on the same road? This is the right time to act. Just call 1913 to register the incident with Chennai Corporation or talk to the councillor or the assistant engineer of the ward.
The proposal by Chennai Corporation to “integrate design changes required in each estimate prepared for a road relaying project” is expected to reduce accidents on roads. This is for bus route roads and interior roads.
“We will study the past years’ data available on road accidents in each stretch. Corporation engineers will identify and categorise the road design problems that cause the accidents. A team of engineers will suggest modification in design and prepare estimates for the work and integrate it in each road relaying work,” said an official.
Initially, the Chennai Corporation will give priority to modifying roads that get reported by the most number of residents.
The existing system of road relaying does not take into account measures to prevent road accidents. “Simple modifications like splay to increase visibility, street furniture, wider footpaths, zebra crossing, pruning of trees, modification in lighting and optimising the height of the road surface are adequate to prevent accidents,” said an engineer of Chennai Corporation.
Based on the reports of residents, councillors or assistant engineers are likely to facilitate commencement of projects to modify the design in such roads as part of road relaying.
The assistant engineers will also keep track of the road accidents after the redesign and analyse the data after one year.
The report on reduction in accidents will be sent to the senior officials concerned and the compilation of a database will facilitate more research on road safety on city roads. The new system will be in place in a few weeks after approval from the Chennai Corporation Council.
When better roads brings woes
The improvement in road network in newly added areas of Chennai Corporation has led to frequent accidents in many stretches in interior residential areas.
Residents of a number of localities have started demanding intervention by Chennai Corporation to prevent accidents.
“Before the merger with Chennai Corporation, the roads were bad. Motorists were not able to use the roads. We were happy when Chennai Corporation developed roads in our locality. Now vehicles move very fast on such new roads. This is causing a number of accidents. We are scared to walk on the road, particularly the elderly,” said a resident of Mugalivakkam.
Mini bus routes including AGS Colony Main Road and Annai Velankanni Nagar Cross Road in Mugalivakkam have reported over six accidents in the past few months.
Chennai Corporation announced commencement of work on developing more than 18000 interior roads and several bus routes after the expansion of the city to 426 sq km a few years ago.
A number of roads have been developed in added zones of Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur.
“We demanded simple designs of speed breakers to avoid accidents. But traffic police officials did not permit such speed breakers. If officials do not want speed breakers because of technical reasons, we request them to redesign the road junctions to prevent accidents,” said a resident.