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Widening of roads may help in controlling road accidents
Road accidents are a regular feature and take a huge toll of human lives every year in the country. One reason cited for such accidents is the presence of improper road conditions in some parts of the country.

When the population was sparse, guidelines were framed for India’s road networks. Today, the population has increased manifold and would increase in the future as well. Therefore, the subject matter of India’s road networks assumes great importance especially from safety view point of the commuting passengers on an everyday basis.

Debate should be initiated whether to go in for widening the roads and make it a stricture for future road construction. There is a good possibility that widening of roads may help in controlling road accidents.

I chanced upon a site which says lanes are usually 11-12 ft. wide, so a road with two lanes (each going in opposite direction) would be between 22 and 24 feet wide. A road with two lanes each going in opposite direction would be between 44 and 48 feet wide. It is interesting to note that India is one of those countries in the world having the largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 33 lakh kilometers at present.

The National Highways, which is the responsibility of Central Government, has the responsibility of overseeing the largest length of roads of over 40 percent of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country. The break up is as follows:

National Highways/Expressways - 65,590 km

State Highways - 1,28,000 km

Major and other District Roads - 4,70,000 km

Rural Roads - 26,50,000 km

The National Highways have been classified depending upon the carriageway width of the Highway. Generally, a lane has a width of 3.75 metre in case of single lane and 3.5 metre per lane in case of multilane National Highways.

The following may help in controlling road accidents in the future:

  • Widening of roads to a decent level should be thought of to become a norm in the future for all road construction. Such a move will help in flow of road traffic more smoothly.
  • If roads are in bad condition, appropriate notice boards should come up in all such places especially in highways warning the drivers of different vehicles to be cautious. If reasons are also indicated as to why such roads are not in proper condition, travelling public including drivers’ community would have reasons to get a feel of comfortable.
  • It is also observed that in monsoon season, occurrence of road accidents are more due to water logging or slippery roads. Therefore, road maintenance departments, should again put notice boards in all those places where such water logging or slippery roads are rampant. Additionally, efforts should always be on to eliminate such road condition with the help of better technology and experts’ advice.
  • Curves and bends are also vulnerable points where road accidents occur. Proper visible warning signs should be always appear in all such points. With the help of experts’ advice, such points should be made more safe oriented by construction of barricade, if warranted , on sideways of such roads.
  • Expert groups of people should keep visiting countries having best of the roads in the world for bringing the same technology and style into Indian roads in the future.

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