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Road Safety

Pedestrians on Roads

Pedestrians form a major chunk of road users killed in road accidents. Major victims are children below 16 years of age. Elderly pedestrians though less involved in accidental deaths, are more likely to die after being struck.

Causes:

1. Alcohol impairment: Most of the adult pedestrian's death occurs because of this. When under the influence of alcohol, drivers loose the ability to take any decisive action resulting in unfortunate crashes.
2. Heavy vehicular traffic: In central city areas volume of vehicular traffic is high and pedestrian activity is also concentrated, compelling pedestrians to scuttle between vehicles to cross the road.
3. Absence of ample space for pedestrians: On certain Delhi roads the roads are so narrow that vehicles and pedestrians move side by side. In such cases pedestrians are at high risk of getting hit for they are not visible to drivers coming from behind.
4. Traffic violations: In most cases speeding vehicles crush the pedestrians because faster the vehicle is traveling lesser is the time for the driver to take corrective action, and in such collisions chances of death are higher. Sometimes red light violation by the vehicle drivers becomes a cause of pedestrian's death.
5. Lack of pedestrian discipline: Pedestrians tend to cross the road anywhere, anytime. They just dart out to cross roads, least bothered of the traffic situation.

Hence, as a vehicle driver you should:

1. Obey traffic signals.
2. Drive in a prescribed speed limit.
3. Be alert regarding pedestrians while taking turns, especially right turns at red lights.
4. Avoid driving after getting drunk or if under medication

Pedestrians! Make Yourself Safe

a) Walk on pavements, not on the road.
b) Walk facing the oncoming traffic when there are no pavements, so that you can see what is coming towards you.
c) Ensure your visibility to vehicle drivers, especially at night. Wear light colored clothes such as yellow and white, which are easier to see at night or pin reflectors to your clothes.
d) Think ahead and plan the safest route to school, market, your friend's homes.
e) If you can walk but cannot run, make sure you carry a bright colored walking stick when you cross the road so that drivers are careful and slow down.
f) Follow the six-step crossing code whenever you have to cross the road:

1. THINK  What is a safe place to cross ?
               Where can I see all the traffic properly ?
               Make sure you are not hidden behind a parked car.

2. STOP    At the edge of the road where you have decided to cross.

3. LOOK & LISTEN Look both ways, many time, to see if there is any traffic coming.

4. WAIT   For all the traffic to pass, and for road to be clear.

5. CROSS Walk straight across the road.

6. KEEP LOOKING & LISTENING Keep looking in all directions as you cross the road until you get to the other side.

Bus Commuters

Bus commuters should never board or deboard a moving bus. Maintaining a queue while boarding the bus will help avoid unnecessary hustle and bustle and will also save time. Once inside the bus keep your calm avoid shouting or making noise that would distract the driver, always hold onto the handrail if standing in a moving bus, stay away from the footboard of the bus and never put any part of the body outside a moving or stationary bus.

SAFE WAYS OF RIDING MOTORIZED TWO-WHEELERS (MTWs)

The motorized two-wheeler rider is the one most likely to sustain serious injuries no matter what he hits- a pedestrian, a cat or another vehicle. This is because he is traveling at a speed more than 15 kmph without any protection around, and the human body is not able to tolerate forces generated when the head or any other bone hits hard and rigid objects at speed higher than 15 kmph.

Avoid Accident

This can be done in two ways:

Speed control: In most cases accidents are the direct result of fast driving because the one who is driving faster gets lesser time to take corrective action and lesser control over the vehicle.

Conspicuity: MTW riders should make themselves and their vehicles as visible as possible especially at night. Yellow and orange are the only colors visible both in day and at night. Wear vests or jackets and helmets of these colors. Paste reflective strips on all sides of the helmet and at the front, back and sides of your vehicle. During daytime you can make your presence felt by keeping your headlights on.

Helmets

Every time you go out for a drive, wear a helmet properly strapped below the chin because helmets are very effective in reducing the severity of head injuries in a crash.

Facts about Helmet

It does not obstruct vision.
It does not interfere with hearing.
It does not build up dangerous temperatures inside the helmet.
It does not cause fatigue which causes crashes.
It does not cause skin diseases.
It does not increase the probability of neck injuries.

Kinds of helmets to be used

It should have a thick padding of thermocole- at least 20 mm-, which must extend to the sides of the head. A full face helmet is safer by all means.

Components of the helmet and their roles

  • The Shell: The shell of a helmet is an injection molded thermoplastic or a pressure molded thermostat that is reinforced with glass fibers or made of fiberglass.

    • It absorbs energy in an impact:- The shell bends when the helmet is impacted and the underlying foam deforms. At moderate speeds the shell can take one-third of the impact energy.

    • It distributes local forces from an impact: - Rigid objects like stone or a projecting beam can cause a skull fracture at low forces, the shell acts to distribute the force of such impact eliminating the risk of penetration.

    • It allows sliding on road surfaces: - The shell being rigid and having a convex shape allows the helmet to slide along a road surface without there being an excessive force.
    • It protects the face and temples: - Full-face helmet is beneficial in protecting the face and jaw. The chin bar of such helmets contain rigid foam to absorb energy for direct blows on the chin, prevent facial bone fractures and prevent the lower part of the forehead and temple being struck.
  • The foam liner: This is a molding of polystyrene beads or polyurethane foam. It provides a stopping distance for the head. The foam can compress by 90% during an impact, although it recovers partially afterwards. But this helps increase the stopping distance thus reducing the peak deceleration of the head. It also protects as much as possible of the head.

  • Proper strapping system: It is essential to wear a well-fitting helmet for the effective working of chinstrap system. To test if the helmet fits your head properly, tightly fasten the chinstrap and then pull helmet off forward by gripping the rear and then pulling. The strap must be threaded correctly so that the buckle locks the strap when it is pulled from the chin side. The strap must be pulled as tight as is bearable under the chin.

Bus and Truck Drivers

Buses and trucks fall under the category of heavy vehicle. They should be driven on the extreme left, speed governors are mandatory for them and the maximum speed limit for buses and trucks is 40 KMPH. Buses and trucks can never overtake any other vehicle. Bus drivers should drive their buses along the bus lane and should stop the buses inside the bus box that is drawn near the bus stops. Other buses that are coming behind and are destined to stop at this bus stop should stop behind the first bus in a line and wait for their turn. Under no circumstances can the latter bus stand parallel to the former bus or overtake it.

Road Safety for Children

A Death Trap ...

Since the days of Gurukul and Madarsa, children used to strive hard to reach their places of learning. They had to walk barefoot across the thick forest, along the pug dandies braving the variant climatic conditions. Today, the scenario is altogether different but the problems of students' commutation is still there as scores of students are being transported to schools like 'goods' in overloaded auto rickshaws in the name of Public School Culture. We tend to ignore the tiny tot's safety, as 15 small kids or more are pushed into a small auto rickshaw, their bags/water bottles hang all over. Imagine, in case of sudden application of brake, the auto can overturn, which would transform the smiles and cheerfulness of tiny tots into painful agony for all of us.


Joy Ride Or Death Trap?

Look at their faces! Their carefree smiles immersed in their own world. All this could change into a nightmare - by your carelessness. Imagine what could happen, if a speeding car rams in from behind; or if you have to apply sudden brakes, throwing the kids overboard and caught under with another car coming from behind. Would you like this to happen? This is a serious traffic offense under the Motor Vehicles Act and you could be fined upto Rs. 2000. If money is not a consideration, what about the little bubbling lives? Never Drive Your Car With an Open Dicky Ensure Your Children's Safety.

Advice for Children:

Every day you go to the school to get education. But it is also important that you take care of yourself while on your way to school and back. Keep in mind the following safety rules and use them without fail!

a. While Walking to School
  • Always walk on the footpath only. On roads without footpath, walk on the extreme right hand side of the roads. Do not be impatient on the road. Do not rush or run on the road.

  • Cross only at Zebra crossings, traffic signals, subways, foot over-bridges. Where such facilities do not exist, look for a safe place to cross.

  • At the signal lights, cross only on a clear green signal. If an intersection is controlled by a policeman, traffic warden or RSP cadet, cross only when he signals you to do so.

  • When crossing between vehicles parked on the side of the road, remember that you are not visible to the moving traffic (because the parked vehicles may be higher than you). Stop as you appear from behind the vehicle and look for a safe gap before crossing. Remember, drivers need plenty of time to see you and to slow down and stop.

  • While crossing wide roads that have central islands, always cross in two stages. Cross to the central Island, stop, and cross when the next section is clear.

  • While crossing one-way streets, remember that the traffic will usually be moving in a number of lanes and at higher speeds. Do not cross unless all lanes are clear.

  • Never cross a road at a corner, as the motorist taking the turn will not be able to see you on time.

  • Running across the road is a bad idea, as you may slip and fall.

b. While going by bus
  • Leave home well in time, so that you won't have to run to catch the bus.

  • At the bus stand, always follow the queue. Board the bus only after it has come to the proper stop, without rushing in or pushing others.

  • While in the bus, shouting or making a noise is definitely bad manners. Such behavior can also distract the driver.

  • Do not board or alight at a bus stop other than the one decided by the school. Never board and alight at a red light crossing or unauthorized bus stop.

  • Always hold onto the handrail if standing in a moving bus, especially on sharp turns.

  • Do not sit, stand or travel on the footboard of the bus.

  • Do not put any part of your body outside a moving or stationary bus.

  • Always adhere to the bus safety rules.

Advice for parents of school children:

1. Parents are equally responsible for the safety of their children during school journeys.
2. They must ensure that the mode of transport arranged by school or by themselves is absolutely safe.
3. Parents must play the role of vigilant observers. They should note down violations committed by school buses and immediately report to the authorities.
4. Parents must participate in P.T.A. meetings and discuss the safety aspects of their children.
5. While taking their children to school themselves, they should take proper care of their safety.
6. Parents must ensure that the children acquire the right knowledge and skills for safe use of roads. They should teach their children the basic rules of the road, how to walk and cross the road, how to alight and board a bus etc.
7. Parents should not allow their minor children to drive.
8. Parents must also ensure that the right attitude for a law abiding citizen is imparted to their children by the family.
9. Children are very good observers and therefore, parents must set an example by meticulously observing even small traffic rules.

Remember safety of children must be the foremost priority of every parent.

Advice for teachers for ensuring safety of school children:

It is the responsibility of school authorities and the teachers to ensure the safety of school children and also to impart the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to be a safe road user.

1. Teachers should help develop a responsible attitude towards road use in school children.
2. Teachers should impart essential knowledge about roads and traffic to school children, by:

  • Making them familiar with the rules of road and their importance.

  • By explaining them the causes of accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and children.

  • Telling them about the cause and extent of pollution due to traffic.

3. Children come to school in various modes of transport. Teachers should ensure that:

  • The children enter and leave the school safely.

  • There is no conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.

  • The vehicles including school buses are parked safely and properly.

4. Children should be supervised and taken care of at the time of alighting and boarding the school bus.
5. Every school bus must be accompanied by a teacher for controlling the children and the bus driver.
6. The teacher should arrange for an alternate bus and keep the children together at one place if the school bus fails to arrive or if there is any problem.
7. There should be regular checking of school buses to ensure compliance with mandatory safety requirements.
8. If any school bus or any conveyance, by which children come to school, violates traffic rules, the teachers should inform about it to their principal or Traffic Police Control Room.

Hazards of Speeding

SPEEDING CAN BE A CAUSE OF SEVERE CRASH

1. Drivers get lesser time to avoid mishap and the stopping distance lengthens which increases both the likelihood of crashing and the severity of the crashes.
2. The vehicle structure is rendered incapable of withstanding the force of the crash which results in serious injury to the occupants.
3. The protection capability of restraint systems such as airbags and safety belts and roadside hardware and safety features such as barriers and bridge rails become nullified.
4. Vehicles become prone to increased tire tread wear, rise in tire weakening operation temperature, longer stopping distances and increased brake wear.
5. At faster speeds the driver's ability to accurately see and judge the distances get compromised.

First Aid

In case of wound

The job of first-aider is to remove or reduce the problems that hamper healing such as dirt, infection, movement, etc. Leave the wound undisturbed. Clean the wound by washing them with running water. If there are splinters, thorns and pieces of glass inside the wound remove them with a pair of tweezers so as to avoid infection.

In case of profuse bleeding 

The easiest way to stop bleeding is to apply direct pressure on the wound. This can be done with any clean folded cloth. Lean on the wound with the heel of the hand instead of your fingers. In case of a fracture do not apply direct pressure; instead use a splint, combined with as gentle pressure bandage. It is safer not to give the patient anything to eat and drink. This is to protect the patient from vomiting in case he needs anesthesia and surgery, or has a head injury. If the wound on the arm or the leg is bleeding profusely, it can be raised. This reduces the blood flow to the wounded area.

In case of chest or abdomen injury

In abdominal wounds the intestines may come out. The only thing you can do as first-aider is to cover the wound with a very wet clean cloth and get the patient quickly to a hospital. The wet cloth will keep the intestine from drying out, and will stick to the intestine.

Open wounds of the chest could be sucking in the air, making it hard for the patient to breathe. Covering of the wound with a piece of polythene and putting a bandage on the top of this may help to reduce air being sucked into the chest. Get the patient quickly to hospital.

In case part of a limb is cut off

If a part of the limb has been cut off it may be possible to reattach it to the body. Put it inside a clean polythene bag and place this bag in another bag with cold water. If you can easily get ice put some in the water to keep it cool. Make sure that the limb does not get soaked in water. If nothing else is available, carry the amputated part in a clean cloth quickly to hospital.

In large crush injuries or in amputation avoid washing the wounds, as it will lead to more blood loss. Just cover the wound with clean cloth and tie a pressure bandage quickly. If possible keep the limb raised. Avoid using raw cotton wool to cover a wound as it gets stuck to the wound, and is difficult to remove and delay healing.

 

In case of an eye wound

Do not attempt any cleaning or washing of an open eye injury. Cover the eye with a clean soft cloth; place a stiff covering on top to prevent any pressure coming on the eye. This is important because the contents can be squeezed out even through a very small wound.

In case of bleeding from ear

Bleeding from ears mean either injury to the ear alone, or serious head injury. Avoid putting anything in the ears to stop bleeding as this could further damage the eardrum. Get the patient to lie down with the injured ear facing down.

In case bleeding from nose

Bleeding from nose could also mean a head injury. If the patient is conscious
and can sit up, ask him to pinch his nose and breathe through his mouth. If he can lean forward, then that could prevent blood from going to his wind pipe choking him. If the patient is unconscious he should lie with the face to one side,
for the blood to come out easily, so that there is no choking.

In case of injuries to muscles, bones and joints

When muscle joints or bones get injured, blood collects over the area, and a swelling appears. You can reduce the swelling by bringing down the bleeding. Apply cold water or ice packs if available. It reduces local blood flow and this brings down the internal bleeding and swelling. But remember not to keep ice packs on more than ten minutes at a stretch as this will lead to something like frostbite, and not to place ice directly on skin. Always wrap it in a cloth first. A muscle injury can be made less painful by putting a splint on the injured limb.

In case of broken bones and dislocated joints

A fracture or dislocation can be confirmed if there is obvious deformity, abnormal mobility, if the limb cannot be moved at all and if a grating feeling is there. First aid for all fractures and dislocations must aim to reduce movement, which will give relief from pain. Splinting should be done with caution.

Shifting the injured to the hospital

  • Ensure that he is not hurt more.

  • The patient should be carried on firm board of stretcher so spine remains stable.

  • While shifting, the patient's back, neck and airway need to be protected from further injury. So always take help of another person.

  • If the patient is unconscious, gently place a large folded cloth or towel under the neck so that the neck doesn't sag against the ground.

  • The vehicle used to carry the patient to the hospital should have enough space to keep the patient's back straight and the person accompanying should be able to care for and resuscitate the patients if necessary.

  • During transportation keep a watch on whether the patient's airway is clear, whether the patient is breathing and whether you can feel the pulse in the patient.

  • If there is only one limb injury the patient can be safely taken to hospital on a chair in a sitting position. Take care to splint or protect limb injuries or bleeding.

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Office: Directorate of Transport, Parivahan Bhawan, Shimla-171004, Himachal Pradesh (India)
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