The idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons. Let’s have a look.
Question: How fast will car drivers speed on any given stretch of road or street, in or out of the city?
Answer: As fast as they can.
Qualification: And if that is not true for every driver on the road (for example you or maybe me), it is true for enough of them such that if road safety is the goal, then this brutal, uncompromising reality must be taken into serious consideration.
Question 2: Now if this is indeed the case (and it most definitely is!) what if anything can we do about it?
World Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more on this: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.
In memoriam 2013
Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.
Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.
Who is doing this job in your city?
Based on the recent article that has just appeared in the Toronto Star under the heading “Get pedestrians off Toronto roads . . .” (goo.gl/ZPRDZp). World Streets would like to express our great admiration of our gentle northern brothers and sisters, Faced with these unnecessary dangers on the road, we have been led to understand that the government and an alliance of all major political parties of the lovely city of Toronto is giving serious consideration to requiring Universal Walking Licenses for all. These would be issued only to people who have satisfactorily completed course work and dress classes in the Toronto Walking Academies and who have passed rigorous final public tests on the street with Toronto’s Finest.
According to the latest WHO data published in April 2011 Road Traffic Accidents Deaths in Malaysia reached 8,031 or 7.85% of total deaths. The age adjusted Death Rate is 34.53 per 100,000 of population, ranking Malaysia #20 in the world. Roughly one third of all traffic accidents have childen as the victims. Review other causes of death by clicking the links below or choose the full health profile.
Top 20 Causes of Death Malaysia
– Anumita Roychowdhury, Dehli. 6 Mar, 2013
Catalysing safe design for public spaces should be among the top priorities to make cities safe for women, children and elderly
I first let this pass without comment—the Rs 1,000 crore Nirbhaya fund for women’s safety proposed in the Union Bdget. Many have glossed over this with a reverent salute to quickly move on to the hard numbers of this stark accounting document. Others are angry, outraged, and dismissive of this fund as tokenism and populism with no clarity of mandate. But I read that paragraph in the budget speech once again.
My attention was riveted to this observation: “As more women enter public spaces—for education or work or access to services or leisure—there are more reports of violence against them.” The operative word here is “public spaces”. Of course, Chidambaram has used this literally to state the obvious. But if we were to join the dots to write the terms of reference for the ministry of women and child development and other ministries to define the scope and structure of the ‘Nirbhaya fund’, then catalysing safe design for “public spaces” would be among the top priorities.