CHENNAI: A Special Task Force on Road Safety has identified about 3,500 blackspots in the state through a five-member team formed at the police station level to provide road engineering and enforcement solutions to reduce accident fatalities.
According to sources in the STF, work on the identification of blackspots is ongoing and expected to be completed in a week.
For identification of blackspots, the sources said that they had formed a team at every police station. Each team comprises a police head constable or special sub-inspector, road inspector from the Highways Department, 108 representative, a revenue official either VAO or ward official and the civil engineering department from the local Engineering College.
“We have developed a mobile application to upload the photo and design. The team have to identify the engineering and enforcement solution to each blackspot. The enforcement solution would be implemented by the police and road engineering by the concerned road-owning department,” the official added.
To bring down the accidents, the STF-RS has also taken up a massive task of making 2,800 junctions on the highway which accounts for 20 per cent of accident fatalities to be compliant with the Indian Road Congress (IRC) standards including necessary road safety features. “Tamil Nadu has the highest number of junctions in the country. IRC has stipulated certain road safety features at the junctions but it was missing, ” sources said.
“There have to be slow down measures like transverse marking at certain distances while approaching the junctions with a line of sight. The vehicles should slow down when it reaches the junction. All these features are missing, ” the official said. At the junction, the official said that when the traffic merges, it should not merge at 90 degrees. “The road design should ensure that the angle of merger should be less than five degrees, ” sources said, adding that they are trying to bring back basic road engineering into focus.
Citing the example of the Ulundurpet to Thalivasal stretch of the two-lane National Highway, which has been witnessing frequent head-on collisions, the official said that the district Collector has installed plastic bollard on the 10-km stretch to prevent the vehicles from overtaking and it has reduced the accident fatalities. “It is a short-term solution that worked,” he added.