road safety


India, with its vast network of highways, unfortunately holds a grim statistic: 11% of global road crash deaths, claiming nearly 150,000 lives in 2020 alone. But amidst this tragedy lies a beacon of hope: strategic road safety infrastructure.

road safety

As an industry veteran in road safety equipment, I strongly advocate for the increased adoption of crash barriers, rumble strips, calming devices, and reflectors on Indian highways. These simple measures, in line with road safety rules and equipped with appropriate road safety signs, can have a dramatic impact on reducing accident severity and preventing fatalities. 

In this article, I will discuss some of the most important road safety infrastructure that is needed in India, adhering to road safety guidelines and regulations. I will also urge policymakers to make road safety a national priority, emphasizing the crucial role of road safety equipment in safeguarding lives.

Crash Barriers Cut Fatalities by 67%

Properly positioned crash barriers on medians and roadsides prevent vehicles from falling off highways or crossing into oncoming traffic, adhering to road safety rules and standards. Studies across the US, Europe, and Australia show median and side barrier systems reduce fatal run-off-road crashes by 67%. Yet India has installed crash barriers along just 4% of its 132,000 km national highway network. Prioritizing even low-cost temporary barriers on accident-prone stretches can significantly stem fatalities, aligning with road safety regulations.

Rumble Strips Reduce Accidents by 70%

Rumble strips, a key component of road safety measures, are milled or raised patterns on highway shoulders that alert straying drivers through noise and vibrations. Research reveals rumble strips can decrease single-vehicle run-off-road crashes by up to 70%. However, adoption remains minimal on Indian roads. Thoughtfully incorporating rumble strips before hazardous curves, high-slope shoulders, bridge openings, etc., can dramatically improve safety, in accordance with road safety guidelines.

Traffic Calming Lowers Speeds, Saves Lives

In urban areas, simple traffic calming measures like speed humps, pedestrian refuges, and chicanes force motorists to lower speeds, aligning with road safety rules and regulations. This reduces the risk of pedestrians being hit at high speeds. Studies show such interventions lower pedestrian-vehicle collision rates by 25-30%, especially benefiting children and seniors. But Indian city planners overlook this vital protective infrastructure, neglecting key road safety measures.

Reflectors Cut Night Deaths by 28%

Reflective markers, an integral part of road safety equipment, illuminate dark highways, highlight pedestrian lanes, and demarcate road curvature, meeting road safety standards. 

Global data shows reflectors reduce nighttime pedestrian accidents by 28%. Low-cost solutions like reflective paint, cat’s eyes, and curb reflectors must be mandated on India’s unlit rural and urban roads to meet road safety requirements.


In conclusion, the alarming statistics of road crash deaths in India underscore the urgent need for comprehensive and strategic road safety infrastructure, in compliance with road safety guidelines and standards. The implementation of crash barriers, rumble strips, traffic calming measures, and reflective markers has proven effective in reducing fatalities globally. However, the current adoption rates in India are far from adequate, with only a small percentage of the national highway network equipped with essential safety features.

The potential to avert over 50% of highway collisions and save thousands of lives each year exists through proactive measures, emphasizing the importance of road safety equipment and adherence to road safety rules. It is imperative for policymakers to prioritize road safety as a national concern, recognizing that infrastructure upgrades are the fundamental first step in transforming India’s highways into safer thoroughfares. The time for action is now; road safety must cease to be an afterthought and instead become a paramount national priority. By investing in and implementing these life-saving measures, we can pave the way for a safer and more secure future on Indian roads.

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