Infrastructural ambiguities have created deadly spots on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway leaving speeding drivers very little time to react to surprise situations.
Spot No 1: 79-km point
These infrastructural flaws create confusion in the drivers’ minds, which have been leading to numerous accidents and fatalities. During a detailed survey initiated by MiD DAY after the many accidents on the 94-km Expressway linking the city to Mumbai, the top eight accident-prone spots have been identified with help from the (IRB) and Central Institute of Road Transportation (CIRT).
Spot No 1: 79-km point
The area slopes slightly and vehicles automatically pick up speed. A portion of the divider angles onto the straight stretch of road at this point and can be misleading to drivers. Since the stretch of road approaching this point is straight, vehicles are driven at high speed and drivers suddenly see the minor deviation and sometimes lose control. Several accidents have occurred at this spot with vehicles ramming into the divider.
Spot No. 2: Baur Bridge
This spot resembles an F1 racetrack with a series of sharp turns ending at Baur over bridge. The road slopes downwards, thereby increasing the speed of vehicles on this stretch. Maximum accidents occurring at this spot have been due to over speeding.
Spot No. 3: Pimploli Bridge
Tyres bursting at this spot are the cause of a major number of accidents. The stretch has numerous cracks in the road, which are affecting vehicles.
Spot No 3: Pimploli Bridge
Spot No. 4: Khandala Exit Bridge – (48-km milestone)
During the night or when traffic flow is heavy, this bridge gets choked. There is a sharp U-turn along with a steep incline, which slows vehicles down to a crawl. Heavy vehicles and tankers are forced to slow down to 20 kmph or less and these vehicles sometimes stall as a result of the load. Trucks and other vehicles travelling at a higher speed attempt to overtake the slow-moving ones and switch lanes. This leads to collisions and several vehicles have been rammed from behind while overtaking at this spot.
Spot No. 5: Amrutanjan Bridge
This has now come to be known as ‘killer spot’, as it has been witness to several accidents ever since the highway was constructed. The turn below the Amrutanjan Bridge near Lonavla, has a serious design flaw that has confused thousands of motorists. The authorities have been struggling to come up with alternative routes and to make technical changes. Motorists tend to get flustered while turning beneath the bridge and sometimes lose control of their vehicles. This happens particularly when changing lanes while approaching the turn, as drivers assume the lane reservation to be according to the usual arrangement and are unable to suddenly change lanes owing to the congestion on the patch.
Spot No. 6: Khopoli Exit Point
At the Khopoli exit point, heavy vehicles are prohibited from using the old Pune-Mumbai highway. A speed breaker at this point slows down vehicles abruptly, which causes accidents.
Spot No. 7: 36-km milestone (near Khalapur Toll Naka)
Median punctures are proving to be the main reason for accidents on the Expressway and at this spot, the median is almost non-existent. The recent accident involving a Maruti Ecco, which claimed the life of four people, occurred due to a median puncture.
Spot No 7: 36-km milestone (near Khalapur Toll Naka)
Spot No. 8: Stretch between Bapdev Temple and Risewadi Bridge
Speeding has resulted in several accidents as the road is straight at this stretch.