Across the world people are coming to realise that roads, especially in our cities, should not be about the metal monstrosities that we call vehicles, but should be about people. That people use these spaces, which are public spaces, for a variety of purposes - from the obvious one of mobility to livelihood to recreation. Yet all our planning, our laws on roads and transport is focussed on the inanimate, polluting vehicles.
This rethinking of roads is reflected in this year’s theme for the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW) - #Love30. The UNGRSW highlighted the need to reduce speed limits on roads where people and vehicles interact, i.e roads that are mixed use. Research has shown that 30 kmph is a safe speed for everyone - be they pedestrians or motorists. A road crash at that speed results in minimal injury and damage. Indian roads, by and large, are mixed use. Even our highways have mixed use as they cut through villages. So lowering speeds is important.
CAG marked UNGRSW with a series of social media posts highlighting the need for lowered speed limits in the Indian context. Unfortunately, in person events were ruled out with the country battling the second wave of the pandemic.
Above: Examples of the social media campaign for #Love30
In addition to the social media posts, an online signature campaign was also launched calling on the Tamil Nadu government to re-evaluate speed limits in the state, publish a speed manual laying out the parameters on which speed limits are set and so on, and to ensure that speed limit signage is installed where required. We are hoping to garner at least 2000 signatures in support and will submit the campaign demands to the Transport Commissioner and DGP of Police, Tamil Nadu.
The signature campaign continues to be live at this link: http://bit.ly/love30kmph
We request you to sign it and share widely within your networks. Let us work towards safer roads.