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5th Webinar on the subject “Engineering Measures & Funding for Road Safety”
June 1, 2021 @ 4:30 pm – 6:45 pm
IRF India Chapter organised the 5th Webinar in the series. The Webinar titled “Engineering Measures & Funding for Road Safety” was held on 1st June 2021 from 16:30 – 18:45 Hrs.
At the outset,Dr. S. Gangopadhyay, Chairman, IRF-IC welcomed the participants at the Webinar. He set the context of the webinar and also briefed the participants about the forthcoming Webinars.
Mr. K.K. Kapila, President (Emeritus), IRF Geneva gave the Keynote Address and introduced the Webinar. He also briefed the participants about the road safety initiatives of IRF-IC, details of which have been uploaded on IRF-IC website. He invited participants and Corporates to generously contribute towards this road safety initiative.
The Webinar was moderated by Mr. Bill Halkias, President, IRF Geneva and had four eminent Speakers.
Video conveying the message of Mr. Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary General‘s Special Envoy for Road Safety and President, FIA. Dr. S. Gangopadhyay spoke a few words about Mr. Jean Todt. He thereafter welcomed and introduced the Moderator of the Webinar, Mr. Bill Halkias, President, IRF Geneva.
Mr. Bill Halkias shared his insights on road safety to the participants and welcomed and introduced the Speakers.
2. Mr.Konstatinos Papandreou, CEO & M.D., Olympia Odos Operations SA (Topic : Management of Safety in Construction & Maintenance Works)
3.Mr.Shailesh Pathak, Head-Special Initiative Development Projects, L&T Ltd. (Topic : Financing Options for Consistent and Continued Interventions)
Recording of Fifth Webinar held on subject “Engineering Measures & Funding for Road Safety”
Questions & Answers
Speaker : Mr. Kostas Papandreou
Answer:It is true that using the NJB not in a continuous way, but in pieces, intermittently as you say, it is indeed not proper and most of all dangerous.
However, I wouldn’t agree that the use of isolated water-filled barriers is a good alternative solution as they do not offer any kind of restraint and they can also be carried away by the adjacent traffic.
The appropriate is to use the NJB as they supposed so, meaning always in a row and connected to its other in order to perform adequately.
Answer: It is not wise to express specific figures in this answer, because the cost per km for improvement of road safety is related to a variety of parameters strongly connected with the related infrastructure, such as:
the type and quantity of safety means that are used for the traffic arrangements (i.e. marking, signs, barriers, cones, bollards etc.)
the heavy maintenance type safety works performed in an old road (i.e. pavement, signing, barriers, drainage, green maintenance etc.) before its full upgrade with new constructions
the preparation of necessary Designs and Audits by authorized and specialized Consultants
and last but not least the development of an operating mechanism (i.e. for services like incident management, routine maintenance etc.)
Regarding safety audit of roads and bridges in India, unfortunately I am not familiar with the relevant plans and activities in India
Speaker : Dr. H.K. Reddy
Answer:Thank you very much for your appreciation of the material that Cube presented on Road Safety.
GPS definitely is a very useful tool that can be used to track vehicles – including their speeds (particularly entry speeds into conflict areas, like junctions). With GPS, vehicles can be tracked from end to end of each trip; and therefore can be very effective in ensuring traffic safety. With powerful processors that are available now, GPS data can be analysed for real-time safety solutions.
Current circular of MoRTH (and NHAI) on ATMS requires PTZ cameras throughout National Highway System and VIDS at all locations with traffic safety issues. These will provide video evidence for an in depth analysis of accidents; from which future traffic safety solutions will emerge.
Speaker : Mr.Rob Mclnerney
Answer:The Star Rating model and the coding of road infrastructure is a global standard and is undertaken in exactly the same way worldwide.
Local calibrations occur to reflect actual crash data and also countermeasure costs so that investment plans are optimised reflecting the local conditions. Each country is also free to set their own policy targets to reflect their level of development and ability to invest. For example UK and Australia has targets for high-volume roads to be 4 and 5-star and Netherlands had the first target for 100% of national roads to be 3-star or better by 2030. Vietnam has a target for 75% of travel to be 3-star or better by 2030.
Some additional details are available at https://irap.org/3-star-or-better/ and also https://www.vaccinesforroads.org/case-studies-of-success/.
Answer:The cost savings used in iRAP analyses to optimise investment plans and economic benefits can be calibrated to local values and include both the direct costs for crash victims and a provision for the social and economic costs to a family. Most countries use a “willingness to pay” approach to value these saving and there is also the social cost model.
In terms of the iRAP investment plan analyses where countries do not have their own crash cost data we recommended the approach documented in the True Cost of Road Crashes report by Dahdah and McMahon.
The separate work looking at detailed claim costs has a public facing summary of data here https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/statistics/online-crash-database/irap-road-injury-dashboard. This is based purely on the total financial claim costs – and has been translated to global and country level snapshots at https://www.vaccinesforroads.org/global-impact-of-injuries/. It is assuming a very high level of care for individuals impacted by road trauma.
Using Australia as a guide the financial costs in https://www.vaccinesforroads.org/irap-big-data-tool/ represent approximately half of the “total” costs of road trauma including the indirect savings and family factor. Each country would be a bit different in terms of what level of care road victims receive and we are working on ways to do those calibrations and would love to have ideas and insights to undertake that calibration for India if any IRF members are keen.
Answer:The raw analysis behind the Star Rating and cost table is available here https://irap.org/2013/05/2013-irap-paper-relationship-between-star-ratings-and-crash-cost-bruce-highway-australia/. The analysis does need care to ensure crash location data is correct and aligns with the star rating data. For that reason we generally look at longer lengths of road with crashes aggregated based on smoothed star ratings.
For a local study there in India there was some good work published by World Bank that is available here https://blogs.worldbank.org/transport/human-lives-need-not-be-lost-road-crashes-much-less-current-levels-0
Answer:Thank you. As a road industry we need to share and communicate success and the IRF work to connect experts and industry provides an important inspiration for the next improvements. Likewise our work to encourage the “ribbon-cutting” of 3-star and better roads worldwide is a priority and one we’d like to see happen on all road projects using the Star Rating for Designs and similar approaches before the road is built and opened to traffic.
Answer:For the full Star Rating specifications see https://irap.org/specifications/ – in particular the iRAP Coding Manual. Road features that impact the likelihood and severity of a crash are recorded – e.g. median type, roadside hazards, intersection type, footpaths, pedestrian crossings. There is also some on-line training that may help https://irap.org/training/ as well as https://demonstrator.vida.irap.org/calculate-star – it is free to sign up to access and is a great tool to see how the model works in an interactive way.
Speaker: Mr.Shailesh Pathak
Topic: Financing Options for Consistent and Continued Interventions
Answer: Evidence-based policy requires we look at the evidence, even if it is contrary to our views or opinions. Currently, if there is no better evidence, we should go by the detailed report published by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, which has been around for many years. Under s. 174 and 176 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code, each road accident is to be investigated by local law enforcement authorities. While police data capture practices may vary, in the last few years we have the advantage of CCTV camera footage of accidents at dangerous intersections. So better evidence would be available, instead of anecdotal stories.
Also, while 80% of roads are straight, few drivers overspeed on curves, which may be the reason why there are fewer accidents on curves. We have seen behavioural aspects in driving, such as drivers suddenly increasing speed after a spell of slow speed in a section under repair. Then there is currently available evidence from city roads such as in Delhi where CCTV-based speed camera challans being delivered to homes – making a big difference in checking over-speeding.
Answer: The answer to an argument is a better argument. Similarly, the answer to the statistics being questioned is better statistics. Till we get better quality statistics, let us appreciate the data we have. There seems to be an unwillingness to consider that high speeds lead to accidents – it would be good to understand the basis of this unwillingness.
Answer: The photo I showed of a crushed vehicle impacted by an accident clearly didn’t happen at slow speed. Looking at the accident’s impact on vehicle bodies and the consequent damage, one can assess whether it was at slow speeds or not. There has been considerable progress in setting up video surveillance and CCTV cameras to cover urban roads and highways, and speed data would be increasingly more available. Further, the most vulnerable groups, i.e. pedestrians and bicycle users can would have more reaction time to avoid being run over, if the vehicle is moving at slower speeds. Finally, if anyone has a hypothesis that over-speeding may not actually be the cause that 150000 Indians die every year, and at least another 300000 have severe trauma, then surely they would have a hypothesis on the other root causes of these accidents? I would be happy to learn about such other root causes. You may have heard about the Pareto Principle, or the 80-20 rule, under which controlling 20% of the factors would lead to 80% of the outcomes being impacted.
Answer:See answer to point 3 above. Again, would be happy to learn more on the basis of the statement ‘Speed generally is not the cause itself’ – then what in the questioner’s view is the cause? Would be good learning for me.
Answer: We all respond to financial incentives and disincentives. The proposal is simple. Almost all the driving licences issued till 2016, say, have been issued in a fashion that did not require the driver to undergo sensitization on road safety. Even today, we could do much more in terms of such awareness and sensitization going forward. Recent reports suggest that from end-2021, MoRTH is proposing a Computer-Based Tutorial (CBT) on road safety before any new licence is issued.
Clearly, this CBT shouldn’t be limited to new driving licence applicants. The same CBT should be mandatory for all existing driving licence holders, to be taken within the next 24 months. Under the latest regulations, driving licences have to linked with unique biometric IDs. Hence it is very easy to link one’s Aadhaar number to one’s driving licence, BUT ONLY AFTER the CBT for road safety has been completed by the person.
At the end of 24 months, say December 2023, any driving licence which has not taken the CBT and not linked with Aadhaar would be invalid. India has developed the Vahan and Sarathi online platforms under MoRTH. Time to leverage them for road safety
The proposal is simple. There should be a financial benefit for undergoing this CBT, by linking it to a discount on premium for their future insurance, whether health, vehicle or third party insurance. Insurance companies would happily share part of the discount, since with fewer accidents, their payouts would reduce. A list of 34 such companies is at
To come to a common understanding, IRF could work with MoRTH, IRDAI and the Insurance companies.
Answer: Would not have the data on this, perhaps IRF could help check the MoRTH publication. If it is not reflected, we may suggest to MoRTH that they capture this aspect in future reports. I agree with the point, lack of enforcement is a significant factor in driver laxity.
Answer: Fully agree, see proposal in point 5 above.
Answer:Thank you, so my point was appreciated by some in the audience.
Answer: The photo of the crushed Maruti Van I showed was because the driver drove into a parked truck (in the rescue lane, not on the pavement) during broad daylight, as per media reports. Apparently the driver had dozed off.
Answer:Excellent point. Canada’s IT systems enable this with an integrated database, and this is the norm in most G20 countries. Two important developments in India have already taken place. First, the Vahan and Sarathi databases of MoRTH. Second, FASTag RFID stickers have been installed on almost all vehicles traveling between cities, which gives a Vehicle Unique ID, that is linked to the vehicle Registration Certificate and a person’s ID proof. In the next few years, FASTag payments would be used not only in highway toll plazas, but also in city parking lots and other such spots, hence there would be very few vehicles left without a FASTag sticker. By 2025, it would be eminently feasible to track all vehicles across India over the Vahan and Sarathi databases. Then we would be in a position to emulate Canada’s example above.