Monday, June 21, 2021
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Speed thrills but kills

Mumbai-Pune Expressway is becoming a killer road as many accidents involving heavy vehicles and cars are taking place mostly during weekends. Despite frequent accidents, the 94.5 km stretch is becoming a death trap to passengers travelling in this route. One twenty five people have been killed between 2009-15 and on an average and it is bad track record for an expressway catering to the needs of people enroute to various places in Maharashtra.

Several accidents occur on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The main reason for occurrence of mishaps is rash driving, bad state of the roads and failure to follow traffic rules. The Regional Transport Office should conduct more stringent tests before granting license to the drivers.  Expressway roads are prone to accidents especially in the Khalapur town in Raigad district. Often accident occurs in this region due to overspeeding. It is high time to enhance road safety by constructing speed breakers at focal points.  Speed thrills these erring drivers and it kills the people as well in the process.

Apart from speed, the lane cutting causes most of the accidents.  The first lane, one near the divider is for overtaking.  The second lane is for light vehicles and the third is for buses and other heavy vehicles.  However, most of the motorists violate traffic rules. In the crash which took place few days back 17 passengers of a luxury bus were killed carrying 60 passengers, crashed into two stationery cars before falling into 12 ft pitch along the road. More than 40 people were injured in this worst accident this year in the expressway.

Pune-Mumbai expressway is the focal point for the accidents as there is no restriction for speed.  There is no speed limit as tested by Police with the help of speed governors. Medical facilities in this route are inadequate which results in more mishaps.  Some of the lives could have been saved if commuters had received treatment during the golden hour. After too many accidents the authorities kept only four ambulances for a full stretch of nearly 100 kms. Police have to apply more stringent measures to control speed. Even parked vehicles are falling prey to such gruesome accidents.  More speed breakers should be placed at focal points to curtail speed.  After all the drivers are playing with the lives of road users passing through the way.

This is the ninth accident that has occurred on this route and the authorities, who collect exorbitant toll fee should take care to curtail accidents by levying fine on erring drivers resorting to overspeeding. Alcohol Breath Analyzers (ABA) is to be used in all focal points to make sure drunk driving is curtailed to the minimum. It is one more case of negligence and overtaking caused a major accident.  Time tested methods will have to applied and see that the accident rate reduce to almost negligible in this particular route. Both RTO and the traffic police need to play a bigger role in this route to prevent gruesome accidents.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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