To reduce cycle-specific accidents, the Centre is working on making reflective tapes mandatory on bicycles from the time of manufacturing. Statistics shows that during the year 2012, 6,600 cyclists were killed in road accidents alone.
In a meeting on Wednesday, Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) with officials from Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) agreed on making retro reflective tapes mandatory in bicycles.
“Bicycle users happen to be one of the most vulnerable road users, susceptible to the high rate of road accidents. Non-visibility of bicycle riders due to lack of proper reflective devices installed on each and every bicycle is the most critical reasons for the high rate of accidents with motorised vehicles,” said Vijay Chibber, the secretary, MoRTH.
“Cycle by its definition is not a motorised vehicle and the Ministry is not in a position to do much. But we have been in touch with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and they have agreed to make reflective tapes mandatory at the time of manufacturing,” he said.
Statistics have also revealed that children and youth who are the maximum users of bicycles are most vulnerable to accidents. The age group (15-24 years) accounted for 32.3 per cent of total road accident casualties during the year 2012.
MoRTH had earlier written to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to make retro reflective tapes on bicycles mandatory, so that all manufacturers use these tapes.
Presently, Delhi Traffic Police along with International Road Federation (IRF) are already providing free reflective tapes for about 10 lakh bicycles. “This project will soon be taken to other metro’s including Bangalore and Trivandrum,” said KK Kapila, chairman, IRF.