Over 20,000 bicyclists died in road crashes; one tiny fix could have saved them | India News

NEW DELHI: If Faridabad-primarily based PP Singh has his way, bicycles wouldn’t be out on roadways devoid of retro reflective tape affixed on them. Singh sees it as an helpful software on bicycles that can aid motorists determine them and prevent a crash from taking put.

It all commenced when he had a slim escape with an accident on a foggy wintertime night time six decades back. “It was coming again from my work. The bicycle in entrance of me not only lacked illumination but was also black in color, producing it completely unattainable for me to location it,” claims Singh, an IT supervisor and founder of the NGO, ‘I appreciate my city’.

The incident shook Singh. The next working day, he commenced counting the bicycles with reflectors on his way to operate and back again. He continued the exercise for a thirty day period and was shocked to discover that a whopping 80 for each cent cycles on roads did not have reflectors. Because then, he and his NGO group have mounted reflective tapes on extra than 1 lakh bicycles in and all-around Faridabad.

Bicyclists are just one of the most susceptible highway consumers in the state. According to data by ministry of street transport and highways, bicyclists’ fatalities surged by a whopping 37.7% in 2017. In truth, in the six decades between 2012 and 2017, as lots of as 24,755 bicyclists shed their life in street crashes.

Cycling and safety

Passionate about his lead to, Singh followed it up with a letter to the WHO suggesting reflective tapes as a long-long lasting alternative for basic safety of bicycles. The performance of retro reflective tapes was also recognised by Union minister for transportation and highways, Nitin Gadkari who wrote a letter with regards to the same to the minister for shopper affairs, meals and general public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan in 2014. Regrettably, the strategy has not nevertheless picked up.


PP Singh affixing retro reflective tape on cycles and rickshaws

Inadequate VISIBILITY, THE Critical Reason Driving CRASHES

One of the main explanations for crashes involving cyclists is inadequate visibility. To make certain bicycles keep on being conspicuous to other street customers, specially in the dim, lots of cycles have a reflector on the rear mudguard. Regrettably, the safety device on the bicycle has under no circumstances been taken significantly by the riders. “A broken reflector doesn’t hamper the movement of a cycle, so it not replaced by most cyclists. Even an educated bicyclist doesn’t enjoy its utility and bother changing it,” adds Singh.

Present Rules

In 2015, the Supreme Court docket committee on highway basic safety mandated a set of 10 reflectors conforming to ISO 6742-2 benchmarks on different spots on bicycles. The great information is that cycle manufacturers have started complying with it. Suggests Abhishek Munjal, director, Hero Cycles, “A established of 10 reflectors are put in throughout all ranges given that 2016 as bike owner safety is of paramount importance for us.”

Nevertheless, street basic safety professionals are not delighted. “BIS endorses equipping bicycles with retro-reflective tapes far too. This is quite much-desired as reflectors aren’t that helpful,” claims KK Kapila, chairman, Intercontinental Road Federation.


A cycle with a retro reflective tape

In India, bicycles are the most common transportation for commuting to function. A whopping 13 for every cent or 2.62 crore Indians cycle to operate, according to Census 2011.


Retro reflective tape is a basic and successful alternative for a vast chunk of population riding outdated bicycles. It comes with several gains:

Just one, compared with reflectors, retro reflective tape is not vulnerable to breaking and consequently does not need to have replacement.

Two, it offers great visibility. A bicycle with a retro reflective tape is easily visible from 100-200 meters, a excellent enough length to be spotted by a motorist. Nevertheless, for growing the conspicuity of bicycle, BIS recommends tapes at certain locations on bicycles. It also specifies the colors and dimensions for every single of these locations. “The model just one buys should conform to BIS specs. The one particular that I experimented with, on a patch of street, washed away with just a single rain but yet another one particular survived serious weather problems, has a fantastic hold and even immediately after 6 yrs is intact on all bicycles,” suggests Singh.

3, it is cost-helpful. A significant intensity reflective sticker of measurement measuring 2’’x 2” expenditures anywhere about Rs 12-15 in opposition to Rs 25-30 for a reflector. Also, reflective tapes are now accessible in lesser sizes, getting absent the soreness of purchasing a full roll of tape and chopping it proportionately.

With India just two several years absent from assembly its goal of cutting down road crashes and fatalities by 50 per cent, solutions like retro reflective tapes can go a long way in earning roadways safer. What it desires is a concerted final mile effort and hard work that will make reflective tape quickly accessible to cyclists.

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