The Makhdoom Ali Mahimi Flyoverbetter known as the JJ Flyover is one of the longest flyovers in Mumbai, where two-wheeler accidents are common. The frequency of bike accidents on this flyover is ironic, considering the fact that they are banned on the stretch. One such accident took place in the last week of February, close on the heels of a police drive, where traffic cops caught nearly 400 bikers driving on the flyover and collected fines to the tune of Rs 40,000.
The question here is why people fail to follow the ban on bikes and risk their lives routinely. This flyover is one of the few stretches on the city that is free of potholes, and this perhaps accounts for its popularity among bikers. Having said that, the smooth ride could be marred for bikers by the sharp curves on the flyover.
In quite a number of accidents on the stretch, two-wheelers have lost their balance, with the drivers or those riding pillion falling from the vehicle and getting crushed by the four-wheelers which are driven at high speeds on the flyover. There are three sharp turns on the flyover, particularly the one near Mandvi Telephone Exchange.
The ban on two-wheelers was imposed on April 2010, after data revealed that of 254 mishaps that had occurred on the stretch between 2002 and 2010, 183 involved two-wheelers. Traffic cops claim that while they diligently carry out drives, it is for the motorists to understand their own need to drive safely. This is a fair argument. However, cops should also realise that at times, even their own men in khaki flout these rules.
mid-day presented photographic evidence of the same in its edition yesterday, where a biker cop was seen driving off with impunity, even after traffic cops on the flyover had flagged him down for driving there illegally. Cops should lead by example, and in the event that they fail to do so, they should be penalised like any other. There is an urgent need increase the fines levied on those who break traffic rules, so that they feel the pinch.
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