International Road Federation (IRF), Geneva Based global road safety body working for better and safer roads worldwide expressing concern at increasing number of fatal road crashes between parked stationary vehicles in the country has in a letter to union Road and Transport Minister Mr Nitin Gadkari requested for strict implementation of Rule 104 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) which requires fitment of reflectors and reflective tapes on all types of Commercial Vehicles in the country.
“One of the major cause of increasing road crashes between Parked Stationary Vehicles such as Trucks and other moving traffic is lack of conspicuity of the parked trucks. ” said Mr K.K. Kapila, President, Emeritus, International Road Federation.
“Though Rule 104 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules requires fitment of Reflectors and Reflective Tapes in most category of commercial vehicles, yet its compliance is badly lacking. Each commercial vehicle is supposed to undergo annual fitness, but strict compliance of rule 104 is not followed. Any vehicle not meeting this criteria should be detained / not given clearance during the above processes, till necessary correction is undertaken, i.e., reflective tapes of specified colors conforming to AS90 Specs are affixed on all sides of the vehicles so as to enhance its visibility/conspicuity. “said Mr Kapila.
“The Mandatory Annual Maintenance check-ups of Vehicles, License Renewal, etc. should also accord priority to the aspect of conspicuity through retro reflective tapes. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways should issue advisory for its strict compliance by the State Governments.” Said Mr Kapila
“While on this issue of road accidents due to lack of conspicuity, I would once again like to engage the attention of all concerned to the plight of vulnerable road users, who are amongst the worst hit. During the year 2019 about 5086 persons were killed due to collision with the parked vehicles in the country. The state of Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 1223 fatalitesfollowed by Punjab with 647 fatalities and Haryana with 330 people being killed due to such accidents” said Mr Kapila.
“”As per the annual accident data published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, there are more fatalities amongst cyclists, vulnerable road users, i.e., pedestrians and two-wheeler drivers. Cycles are often found without reflectors, hence their visibility at night is questionable. Fixing of reflective tapes in addition to reflectors, should therefore be mandated upon by the State Transport Department under State Governments “said Mr Kapila