Over 4,000 black spots in Kerala’s road network, says NATPAC’s draft report

The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) has readied a draft report mentioning 4,000-odd black spots in Kerala which are vulnerable to road accidents.

The draft report was submitted to the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) and the State government. After taking stock of its contents, it has been tentatively decided to array multiple black spots on the same corridor under a cluster, rather than implement accident mitigation measures focussed on individual black spots alone.

This holistic approach was adopted to ensure faster and comprehensive implementation of remedial measures along vulnerable corridors to avert accidents. The NATPAC will ready a final report based on feedback from the KRSA, official sources said.

The KRSA is an umbrella body that ensures road safety in the State and provides funds to agencies that own the respective corridors to initiate accident mitigation measures, if need be, after acquiring land. The Public Works department too has a road safety cell. Black spots on national highways, especially on the congested NH-544 and NH-66, are expected to be taken care of when they are widened as four or six-lane stretches.

The emphasis on averting accidents by scientifically redesigning junctions, roads, footpaths and allied infrastructure received an impetus after the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety began to strictly monitor accidents, considering the toll they took on the health and well-being of victims and their families.

The list of 4,000-odd black spots was readied based on road accident statistics from 2018 to 2020. Such spots abound in the State, primarily because agencies do not ensure the upkeep of junctions, roads, footpaths, pavements, sign boards, signal systems, lights and allied infrastructure.

They also often engage in passing the buck, failing to clamp down on encroachments, haphazard parking and rash driving. Apart from KRSA funds, efforts will also be made to procure funds from local bodies and people’s representatives, official sources said.

NATPAC had submitted designs to rectify highly accident-prone 75 black spots across the State, based on its 2019 report. The new list was readied after a more comprehensive study of accident data, since the annual road-accident fatalities in the State still hover at over 4,000 despite increased safety consciousness and improved safety measures of vehicles.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 10:23:26 pm |