In Chandigarh, roundabouts safer than 4-way intersections
Even staggered junctions, which are common on inner roads in Chandigarh’s sectors, have a higher fatality rate than roundabouts
City’s roundabouts witnessed a total of 14 accidents in 2022 with zero fatalities, proving far safer than four-way junctions, where 31 accidents claimed 10 lives.
As per the “Road Accidents in India 2022” report released recently by the Union ministry of road transport and highways (transport research wing), the 14 accidents at Chandigarh’s roundabouts left nine people with minor injuries, while two were grievously injured. In comparison, at crossroads, 28 victims received minor injuries and three were seriously hurt.
Most of the city’s big intersections are either roundabouts or four-arm junctions. Even in previous years, roundabouts outshone crossroads in road safety.
Even staggered junctions, which are common on inner roads in sectors, have a higher fatality rate than roundabouts (see box). Staggered junctions are similar to crossroads, but not straight across, wherein traffic takes two turns before continuing straight into the sector.
There were no accidents at the city’s T-junctions and Y-junctions, which are mostly not used on major roads.
Speaking about this, SSP (Traffic) Manisha Choudhary said, “Roundabouts are an effective mechanism for slowing down the vehicle while manoeuvring along the circumference of the rotary, thus reducing the chances of fatalities.”
Road safety expert Harpreet Singh said, “Roundabouts act as a silent constable, as police constables can’t be present 24x7 on the ground. Commuters have to decrease their speed to cross it, which greatly reduces the chances of any accident being fatal.”
Acting on this findings, UT has built new roundabouts at the Sector 46/47/48/49 and the Sector 44/45/50/51 intersections, both black spots previously. Earlier this year, a decision was taken to reinstate roundabouts at Press light point, Transport light point and Housing Board Chowk, all on Madhya Marg, where traffic lights had replaced rotaries. There are at least 47 roundabouts in the city as of now.
However, there was a controversy regarding tabletops at three of these roundabouts. In May, the District Road Safety Committee noted that the tabletops at three of the new roundabouts and the Sector 25/38 light point were not made as per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) standards.
Traffic lights see highest number of fatalities
Out of all types of traffic control, traffic lights in Chandigarh are the most dangerous, as per the report. There were 44 accidents at all intersections with traffic lights, where 13 lives were lost. Three people were grievously injured and 39 people also sustained minor injuries.
There were no accidents reported on police controlled roads, roads with stop signs or uncontrolled roads. Even on roads with a flashing signal, there were six accidents, but no fatalities. Experts said police presence should be more marked at black spots to decrease such incidents.