A STUDY of the accidents in Panchkula during the last two years has highlighted that the majority of the accidents in 2014 and 2015 were caused by four-wheelers. Further, out of the total 162 accidents, one third of the accidents occurred on the National Highway. The study was conducted by Professor Har Amrit Sandhu from PEC University of Technology along with his team of three students.
“The idea was to identify the black spots, i.e. the accident-prone spots in Panchkula, which sees a huge influx of tourists as it is the gateway to Shimla. Since the city is still being developed, ascertaining the black spots can help in better planning of the city,” says Professor Sandhu.
For the study, details about the accidents caused in Panchkula during 2013-14 and 2014-15 were obtained from the Panchkula Police Headquarters. Further, 162 points were methodically analysed by the team, and the geographic coordinates of these points were then fed into ArcGIS 10 (a software for Geographic Information System), and eventually 13 key black spots were identified.
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According to the study, on average, light motor vehicles, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars, have been found to be responsible for around 60 per cent of the total accidents. Trucks have, however, been found to be responsible for 25 per cent of the accidents, whereas only 9 per cent accidents have been caused by two-wheelers. Two-wheelers amount to about 60 per cent of the total motor vehicles in Panchkula. Cars have been found to be responsible for the most notorious incidents in Panchkula in the last two years. Out of the total reported accidents, however, about 65 per cent have not resulted in any fatalities.
The analysis has also shown that 52 per cent of the accidents occurred during the day and due to rash driving, and the remaining were caused due to poor illumination at night and absence of warning measures such as delineation and retro-reflective materials. A total of 48 per cent of the accidents happened between 7 pm and 7 am.
“The majority of the accidents in Panchkula have occurred on the National Highway or at Majri Chowk, the study has shown. At Majri Chowk, there is inadequate super elevation on the road for vehicles coming from Nada Sahib Gurdwara site and turning right to Old Panchkula on the Kalka-Zirakpur road,” the study states.
The study has highlighted a total of 13 black spots at various junctions in the city which have had a high frequency of accidents over the last two years. Due to relatively high speed of vehicles and larger percentage of heavy vehicles, over one third of the total accidents caused have occurred on the National Highway, according to the study. Four major black spots have been identified on the NH.
“We have also made suggestions to ensure that the frequency of accidents at these black spots can be reduced. Suggestions have been made for creation of more slip roads, construction of medians along with widening of roads, installation of signal lights and smoothening of sharp blind curves to avoid accidents. At several places, there is also a need for a better traffic signage system,” Professor Sandhu adds.
ACP (Traffic) Munish Sehgal asserts that the Panchkula Traffic Police is keeping a check on the accidents in the city, and efforts are being made to reduce them. “Regular monthly meetings are organised with the NHAI and other authorities to keep a check on how to reduce the number of accidents. Engineering defects, if any, are recognised and we also ensure that on accident-prone areas on the National Highway and other places like the Majri Chowk, challans are issued to rule-breakers.”