Road accident deaths in India number the highest in the world. Among these, a very vulnerable segment of road users is constituted of cyclists and in 2014, an estimated 4,023 cyclists were killed in road accidents in India. In Delhi, Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) constitute 84% of road fatalities. Many deaths pertaining to this class of road users are attributable to their poor visibility in traffic, particularly in the dark hours. Needless to say, apart from the social trauma caused by these fatalities, the economic loss as a result of the loss of valuable lives is great.
International Road Federation, India Chapter under the dynamic leadership of its Founder Chairman & Chairman Geneva Programme Centre, Mr. K.K. Kapila and Chairman Mr. N.K. Sinha is presently working with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India and the Delhi Traffic Police to appropriately address the cause of the safety of cyclists. The IRF IC has initiated an intensive campaign to affix reflective tapes on bicycles to enhance their visibility, in particular during low light / night time and inclement weather. The Campaign has been initiated in the city of Delhi, in the initial instance, and will be gradually extended to cover other metropolitan cities as well as urban areas in a later phase.
AIS‐90 (standard) retro‐reflective tapes of specified dimensions (decided on the basis of experimentation) are fixed on standardised locations of the bicycle (also based on experimentation regarding visibility from all sides, front, rear and sides) for reflecting lights against headlights. The commercial vehicle conspicuity standard of colour (Red, Yellow and White) for the rear and front sides of bicycle respectively as per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 has been adopted (also SIAM/international standard).
Existing bicycles are fitted with the plastic round reflectors, which do not serve the purpose they are meant for and when damaged as a result of use, are never fitted again. Moreover, they do not provide the required reflectivity for conspicuity at 100m distance. Bicycles in India are produced under the Industry Standard, provided by BIS for all parts. As this is a very important component for the success of the drive, IRF‐IC has convinced the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) about the identified colour and sizes of reflective tapes to be affixed on bicycles as detailed below. BIS has also included the same as part of the bicycle industry standards for the production of bicycles, with retro‐reflective tapes affixed by manufacturers at the manufacturing stage itself (BIS Specifications).
So far, around 200,000 bicycles have been fitted with retro- reflective tapes in the city. The Campaign has generated a lot of awareness and interest among bicycle users, who are coming forth in large numbers to have their bicycles fitted with reflective tapes under IRF IC’s unique initiative.
Through its efforts, IRF IC hopes to drastically bring down the figure of cyclist accidental deaths to an all time low. IRF IC is currently in the process of extending the drive to cover the States of Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
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