<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi’s unmanned crossings with blinkers have become death traps for motorists, accounting for 64 percent deaths on the capital’s intersections.Earlier in July, 2015, Vinay Jindal (20) had lost his life to a speeding car that had rammed into his two-wheeler at a non-functional traffic signal at an otherwise busy Kasturba Nagar crossing in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar. Jindal’s case did not raise an alarm and was listed as just another fatal accident on the roads of Delhi.Jindal died in the accident that happened just two days before his sister’s wedding. But even after more than a year, the vehicle that had crashed into Vinay, could not be traced still, while the police have put the investigation in the matter to rest.The number of road accidents at traffic junctions having blinkers or flash lights are five times more in comparison to signals manned by police or those with timers.As per the recently released ‘Road Accidents in 2015′ report, prepared by the Delhi Traffic Police and the research wing of the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, in 2015, 2,198 accidents had taken place in the national capital at intersections with blinkers in which 429 motorists were killed, while a total of 2,055 persons were seriously injuredThe latest report shows that of the total 3,545 road accidents that took place at traffic junctions, 2,198 occurred at blinkers, in which the number of persons injured are higher than the number of accidents that have taken place.The issue assumed importance only in June 2014 after the death of senior BJP leader and union rural development minister late Gopinath Munde, a speeding Indica had rammed into his car at the Prithviraj Road-Tughlak Road intersection at around 6.20am. After the incident, the police turned some of the major signals around Lutyens’ Delhi into signal mode.”In India there is no culture of obeying traffic norms. People do not give indicators before changing lanes or reduce the speed while approaching a blinker, which allows a potential scope for collision. Also, here the junctions operated by flashers are not designed appropriately, which means ideally the junction must have lane line markings, guide arrows (left turn/right turn) and pedestrian sidewalks, among others. Moreover, there is no concept of design safety audit of any of these junctions even after reports on the accidents are prepared every year. It requires both the awareness and education to motorists as well as greater government intervention to prevent such cases,” said Prof PK Sarkar, traffic and transport expert.”In most cases, motorists, while approaching a crossing with blinkers do not reduce the speed and rather violate rules. At a blinker, the motorist is supposed to slow down and use their discretion in moving ahead, which is hardly practiced in India. Globally, it is seen that people respect the law and follow traffic norms even when there is no deployment. In most such cases the vehicle crashes into the one coming from either their left or right resulting in fatalities,” said, a senior traffic officer.He added that during the night when traffic is less and deployment is reduced, there are more chances of people over-speeding and disobeying the law, which results in more accidents at blinkers, in comparison to other signals where the rate of compliance is a little more than in the former.What are blinkersTraffic signals are put on the blinker mode during the night-time, as the volume of traffic is lesser and reduces the waiting time for motorists. Blinkers indicate that the motorists must reduce speed, look right and left, and proceed cautiously.Reasons behind increasing no. of accidents at nightAccording to senior traffic officers, the number of accidents and fatalities being higher at blinkers is because of motorists flouting the traffic norms. Also, missing cautionary signages indicating speed limits at intersections is one of the major factors leading to accidents.The neglect of road-owning agencies in installing signages such as ‘merging ahead’ or ‘Go slow’, in particular, at junctions prone to accidents, contributes to the accidents. In many cases, it was observed that the the traffic lights were found to be non-functional.Besides, in some cases, pedestrians became victims of the accident, as the pedestrian crossings had faded or were not marked at all.Road accidents in the capital at traffic junctions in 2015:At Blinkers or flash lights-2 198 accidents-429 Killed-2,055 injuredAt automatic signals (with timers)-391 accidents-83 Killed-346 InjuredAt Controlled Signals (manned by police)-373 accidents-61 Killed-344 InjuredAt Uncontrolled Signals-273 accidents-35 Killed-324 InjuredAt signals with only STOP sign-310 accidents-62 Killed-334 Injured

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Delhi’s blinkers becoming deaths traps