With rapid development and proliferation of technology, there has been an equally massive surge in urbanization. According to a number of researches, in the year 2007, for the first time in history, the majority of human population, the world over, lived in cities. This is certainly a massive landmark, and yet, urbanization is happening just as strongly.
Most of the population in cities drives cars, and their number is only expected to rise. Sadly enough, this has also led to an increase in road accidents, and the injuries and deaths they cause. This is a situation which calls for immediate, effective solutions. We must ask the question, “Can our transportation infrastructure and management approaches handle this rise?”
To this end, globally, officials are implementing changes in Road Safety Management. Let’s continue our investigations of some of the more effective ones:
In Stockholm, a dynamic toll system has played a vital role in controlling the flow of vehicles into the city. It has reduced traffic by 20%, decreased wait time by 25%, and cut emissions by 12%.
In Singapore, sensors are installed to measure and predict traffic scenarios, with 90% accuracy.
In Kyoto, city planners study huge traffic situations, involving thousands vehicles, to analyze the impact of urbanization.
In Bangkok, during certain hours of the day, the direction of the traffic on many one-way roads is changed.
Manila has a rather peculiar way controlling traffic. In heavy traffic, vehicles with number plates ending with the numbers 1 and 2 are forbidden from operating on city roads on Mondays, between 7 am and 7 pm, to reduce traffic jams.
Bermuda has gone ahead – imposing similar bans on rental cars.
The Romanians have been very proactive. Logic dictates that in the time-gap in which the accident takes place and the paramedics arrive, a lot can be lost. The Romanian Red Cross, a partner of the Global Road Safety Partnership, addressed this issue by training people on first-aid. The goal is to compliment the efforts of the paramedics, and boost the chances of survival of accident victims.
Remember the walking cars of The Flintstones? Sure you do! The concept exists even today. Students in South Africa get on a ‘Walking’ school bus, and walk in pairs behind an adult driver who directs the route between home and school. Physical fitness, clean and pollution free environment, and strong community relations are only few of the pros of this age-old concept.
If one country uses buses without wheels, another changes the name of its town to promote road safety. Strange but true – a town in Australia, named Speed, decided to modify its name to Speed Kills, to promote road safety. On Facebook, a campaign was launched for the name change, and it was decided that if the campaign received at least 10,000 ‘Like’s, the town would be renamed. It achieved over 33,000.
In conclusion, we can say that effective urbanization needs at its heart an effective transportation system. This increases the emphasis that must be laid on road safety. Let us work towards not just getting better roads from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, but making sure we can travel those roads safely. ‘Smart’ traffic systems can be the key to reaching this goal, but, in reality, it will be achieved only when individuals make efforts.