Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ending the Carnage

At the end of yesterday's meeting of the Government, internal affairs minister Catan was tasked with developing a plan to reduce road accidents.

Here's the advice I would give him:

1.  Focus in the first instance on accidents which result in injury and the loss of life.  Typically these happen outside city boundaries due to a combination of poor roads, speed and alcohol.

2.  Paint lines down the sides of the roads with high-quality fluorescent paint.  Many accidents occur because cars can't see the road and run off to the side, hitting trees, power poles etc.

3.  Fill the worst pot-holes (the 'axle-breakers')

4.  Place speed advisory signs on bends, corners and other hazards

5.  Eliminate corruption from the driver licencing process (i.e. make sure everyone actually sits and passes the exams)

6.  Introduce defensive driving techniques to the licensing course.

7.  Clean or treat the roads in winter

8.  Enforce tough drink-driving and speeding standards and ensure that penalties are a sufficient deterrent.

9.  TV campaigns against drink-driving and speeding

10.  Refocus the Politia Rutiera on dangerous driving, road clearing and ensuring that vehicles have current roadworthiness certificates

11. Consider how to link the income of minbus drivers to their performance in providing a service rather than the amount of fares they collect.

12.  Rewite the law such that drivers are obliged to move broken down or damaged cars to the side of the road so as not to create an obstacle for other drivers.

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