What’s keeping you from an early morning jog or a runout with your bike? Is it the safety concerns? Well like they say if you’re looking to be invisible try being a pedestrian or cyclist on a busy road and rightly so.
The increase in road accidents is a cause for concern and the major problem is that while we our invisible to the motorists it’s the same in case of the safety engineers too. It’s also the responsibility of the engineers and road safety experts to ensure infrastructure that promotes pedestrian and cyclist safety.
The funds for road safety in any state including Delaware is sanctioned by the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and while close to $51m has been spent by the authorities you’ll be surprised to know out it none has been dedicated towards pedestrian or cyclist safety projects.
Quite shocking isn’t it? Such a huge amount spent only on improving road safety for vehicles and while these projects have brought about a significant reduction in vehicle accidents, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have gone up by 10-15 over the past 8-9 years.
But who’s to blame? Is it the automobile companies and safety technicians conspiring to drive out pedestrians and cyclists to increase car sales by making roads a nightmare for the walkers and cyclists?
While that makes a killer plot for movie or TV series it isn’t the case in reality. The problem is quite basic. Every time we talk about road safety our first thought is automobile safety. That’s the reason you’d find engineers and technicians working more on making intersections safer and while that lowered accidents it’s time to shift focus onto the streets of Delaware.
One of biggest changes we have seen is the setting up of a special team for improving safety standards for pedestrians and cyclists. The team comprises of member from the local police force, Highway safety department and other important organizations.
One basic change we can all agree to is increased investment of both time and money by the experts. Few other things that can help improve the situation are use of light beacons on crosswalks. Even LED sign boards or use of digital speed signs are small changes that can make the biggest impacts. Construction of separate lanes for cyclists and walkers and stricter laws and fines for over speeding and breaking of rules are few obvious solutions.
One important suggestion during the team’s meet was relocating bus stands to safer and more convenient locations. Apart from that use of audio messages to alert buses and installation of safety banners have also been discussed. Also public surveys are being conducted to help inform the people about road and safety measures.
In case you have an idea or a suggestion you think will help, let us know through the comments below.