PANAJI: In a bid to improve public Transport for road safety, law enforcement and road engineering, the Goa Road Safety Forum (GRSF) has made several suggestions to the State Transport Department.
1.Suggestions for Improvement in Public Transport for Road Safety
The GRSF, The first step to solving the problem of fatalities, is to reduce the number of vehicles running on the roads of Goa. Being a Tourist state, Goa should make every effort to make it possible for tourists to visit places without bringing their own personal vehicles to the state. Public Transport should become the first choice for all tourists. Unfortunately, currently it is the last choice.
This is resulting in the entire state getting congested with personal vehicles. No amount of road widening is sufficient to handle the growing number of vehicles. It has been a universally accepted solution to solve traffic congestion by improving public Transport.
Our suggestions below are based on practical steps the government needs to take to improve public Transport. This will result in a modal shift towards Public Transport and reduce the load on road infrastructure.
Wearable ID cards, training
Bus operators need to be aware that they are accountable for providing safe and respectful Transport. They need to be given a visible ID so that passengers can report inappropriate behaviour.
All bus operators should be given mandatory training on communication skills. Before issuing new permits, an evaluation of drivers and conductors should be carried out.
Define route numbers
Define route numbers for all routes across Goa
Digitise public transport timetables
All tourist destinations in the world have now adopted the GTFS mechanism to publish their bus timetables to Map services like Google and Bing. It helps tourists plan their journey before they enter the state. Every stop location should be geocoded, and all routes should be published to these online services.
Private buses for major events
The Govt should empanel private buses to operate a service for events such as ISL, Lokotsav, Serendipity, etc.
Relaunch Dona Paula-Vasco Ferry service
A Launch service that departs every 15 minutes is needed on this route. A lot of people will find it convenient to use a bus and travel to the jetty at Dona Paula, take a launch service and reach Vasco. A huge amount of traffic on the roads will be reduced.
Routes in industrial areas based on travel patterns
Huge number of industrial employees use their personal cars to travel to their workplace, which has added to demand on the road infrastructure of Goa. The demand can be met by empanelling private bus operators for running a shared service for companies in these industrial estates.
Set up a grievance redressal cell for reporting violations by bus, taxi and autorickshaw operators.
- Suggestions for Law Enforcement
All road users must be aware that they are being watched and must follow the rules.
Mechanism for citizens to report violations
CCTV and deployment of personnel at every corner of Goa is not possible. Allow citizens to voluntarily report violations via Email/Social media with no monetary remuneration.A Control Centre should monitor the messages and dispatch ground staff instantly.
Parallel Parking should be preferred
Parallel Parking gives more space on the road to drive. Angular Parking reduces space because different cars have different lengths. Parking should be made parallel to the roads in all cities as far as possible.
Pay parking fees
Local bodies should be instructed to authorise Pay Parking contractors to charge vehicles that stop on the road to avoid Parking. In Panjim, it is a very common sight that vehicles stand on the road and reduce driving space. Standing should be counted as Parking and the amount should be charged.
No more permits to rent a car, rent a bike
The market for rented vehicles is already saturated. Existing permits should be allowed to be renewed, provided the vehicle meets safety criteria, but no new permits should be issued.
Discipline habitual violators
Habitual violators should be disciplined not by mere fines but with additional measures:
- They should be made to watch road safety videos for 2 hours at the Police station as per SC committee on road safety.
- Vehicle should be confiscated for 3 months.
- DL should be suspended for 6 months.
- They should be made to pay fines by visiting a police station
Introduce collar cameras
For the safety of the police personnel, and for authenticity of the enforcement, collar cameras should be provided to traffic police. This is also stated by the SC committee on road safety
- Suggestions for Road Engineering
Our suggestions below are based on mandatory standards enforced by central agencies such as MoRTH and IRC. These have been designed by these agencies based on human psychology and help in guiding the driver’s subconscious mind.
Maintain visibility of speed breakers / rumblers
The design of speed breakers in terms of height and width should be based on IRC 99 standard. The speed breaker should have an adjoining signboard, painted design and reflectors installed.
Design of Electronic Traffic Signals
Display lights should be visible from every angle from road ,proper height must be maintained as per IRC 93 standard, minimum 12 hrs Battery Power back up must be provided
Immediate repair against damage to road furniture
Proper inventory record must be maintained and an FIR should be lodged for damage to any road furniture.
All Signboards should be as per IRC 67 and should have approved drawing.
- Signboards should be cleaned twice a year.
- Sign posts should be painted at least once a year.
- Inspection should be done at night at least once and during the rainy season.
- Damaged and out-of-warranty signboards should be replaced immediately.
Electronic data on all Govt assets
Currently, roads are getting dug frequently because each department manages its own underground and overground assets in isolation. This can be avoided if a Geographical Information System is set up to record all assets belonging to all departments. This will enable officials across PWD, Electricity and all other departments to visualise the location of assets before undertaking maintenance works. All road furniture can be tracked and additional information such as scheduled maintenance dates, etc. can be recorded in the system.
Pedestrian Crossing / safe footpath
Pedestrian Crossing should be as per IRC 103, preferably table top wherever possible. It should have adjoining signboards, blinkers for high-speed roads, raised pavement markers and speed-calming measures.