Speeding was the cause of 95% of all fatal road accidents reported in Chandigarh in 2019. Not only this, the city recorded the highest percentage share of speeding-related fatalities among all states and Union Territories in the country
As per the Accidental Deaths and Suicides Report in India 2019 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) this week, out of a total 104 fatalities caused in road accidents, 99 were caused by speeding alone, while five were caused by dangerous or careless driving and overtaking. Nationally, speeding caused 59.6% of all road accident deaths; among UTs, the figure stood at 42%.
Road-safety activist Harpreet Singh said, “Chandigarh has wider and better roads in comparison to many cities, which is why speeding is such a menace here. Rather than widening, road infrastructure should be focussed on building traffic-calming devices and speed tables. Roads can even be narrowed down in some places to prevent speeding.”
Meanwhile, the traffic police have said that checking speeding is their priority and they are using technology to counter it. Officiating senior superintendent of police (SSP, Traffic) Manoj Kumar Meena said, “Driver feedback systems were installed on six roads in December last year, which have been effective in changing people’s driving habits. These six patches have not reported a single fatal accident since.”
Issuing of e-challans using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems has also begun. Mounted on tripods, these machines are equipped with cameras and sensors to measure the speed of the vehicles and click a picture of those crossing the speed limit. The device can also be used at night and is portable.
“The machines eliminate the need to speak to drivers or stop them. Total 15,537 e-challans have been issued since May,” said deputy superintendent of police (DSP, Traffic) Kewal Krishan. In just four months, more challans for speeding have been issued than those collectively issued in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Kamal Soi, who is a member of National Road Safety Council, said, “Even if challans are being issued by cameras, the fear of being caught is witnessed only when traffic cops are posted on roads, which helps bring speeding down.”