Traffic Management in India has proven to be a mammoth task.
These are some of the factors which have added to the existing traffic on the India roads:
- Service oriented economy
- migration to bigger cities
- increase in purchasing power
- participation of women in jobs
In cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru the average distance of daily travel has gone up to 9-12 km for an individual. In smaller cities such as Pune, Surat, Kanpur etc with population around 20-50 lakh, the average travel distance is around 6 km (according to a report by Indian Institute of Human Settlements).
Average travel distance and traffic congestion are directly related – more the travel distance more the traffic congestion.
Owing to poor maintenance of footpaths and cycle tracks, walking and cycling are not preferred modes of transport these days.
Irony of the situation is that for a car, tax only has to be paid for 15 years whereas buses have to pay annual taxes per seat! Moreover to obtain loan for a car is far easier as compared to a bus. Total number of registered vehicles in India till 2015 (according to data.gov.in) was 210023289 and almost 60 thousand cars are sold everyday!
Public transport needs to improved otherwise people will keep buying personal vehicles.
In terms of traffic management, our efforts are more inclined towards ensuring the safety of car drivers all the while ignoring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists who are lot more vulnerable to road accidents.
In mainstream media, Parking problems and sky rocketing of pollution levels are much talked about issues but traffic management entails a lot more. Indians tend to stop the vehicle if a cat crosses their path, but a Traffic signal surprisingly fails to do so! In order to make traffic smoother, the very first thing is to instill a sense of responsibility and healthy respect for traffic rules among the citizens. This can be accomplished by making Motor Vehicles Act more stringent with higher penalties and harsher punishments for habitual rule breakers.
Modern technology and traffic management
Use of modern technology will be instrumental in traffic management .
Intelligent Transport System – Real time traffic information will be shared by Traffic Department, Transport Authorities, Public transport operators, Fire brigade and other travelers so that in situation of congestion or road accidents, collaboration is smoother.
Vehicle Positioning System (VPS) provides the drivers with advance knowledge of the roads with traffic jams and severe congestion, which prompts them to take alternate routes. VPS also lets travelers know the timing of next available bus.