In the course of the recent years as a person who commutes by car, you would’ve heard somebody tell you to switch off your engine at traffic signals. A recent study revealed that in the NCR alone if all commuters put this rule into practice, they could stand to save the city more than Rs 250 crores every year. A recent study conducted between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI) and the Petroleum Conservation and Research Association (PCRA), determined the financial impact of this practice. In addition, prior to the release of the study, the researchers found that the only 20% of all road users make this practice on a regular basis. To further establish the impacts of running engines, the study announced, that they would continue the research through 100 intersections in Delhi to see how switching off engines affects the environment and traffic. At this rate with 30 lakh cars on the road in Delhi, each car stands to save Rs 800 on a yearly basis, which, translates to roughly 10 litres of fuel a year!
Ahead of the study, a cursory prelude was carried out south Delhi Bhikaji Cama Place intersection for seven days so as to establish a baseline for the remaining study. The PCRA director Alok Tripathi said that in the initial phases of the campaign only 20 percent of commuters naturally switched of their motors at the junction. As the campaign proceeded the percentage went up to 62% percent. Further, even after the campaign was concluded this steady out at a healthy 53%. Reflecting that by nature if properly informed of the consequences commuters were willing to contribute towards protecting the environment. Even over the extremely short sample space over which this campaign was conducted, the environment reflected a considerable decrease in levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and carbon monoxide (CO).
According, to Tripathy’s study the most cooperative and responsive to the campaign among road users were Auto Rickshaw Drivers. The Study had found only 30% of the Auto Rickshaws in the limited scope study switched off their engines, this number went up to 80% during the campaign and finally settled at 77%. The remainder of the report is due to release in February next year with more details.
The three-phase study will first collate data on the number of vehicles that switch off engines, the second phase will be an analysis of the bunching of vehicles at signals and finally the study will try to assess the timer set for the red light to improve signal design so as to improve traffic flow and reduce concentrated pollution.