mid-day editorial: Take a hard line on road safety

Just a few days ago, a fatal accident on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link underlined how dangerous that stretch had become, with many drivers treating it like a Formula One racing track. Yesterday, this paper highlighted yet another risk at the Sea Link — the iconic bridge is completely devoid of lane markings.

These markings are essential to divide the stretch into lanes to organise the traffic and ensure road safety. These are especially crucial at night, since they are reflective and help motorists keep on track despite reduced visibility.

When questioned, the authorities stated that re-surfacing work is going on, and the lane markings would be done soon after this work is completed. The authorities must keep their word. Several times in the past, we have seen government agencies promising to quick action, only to pass the deadline by days, or even months.

It is good news that the road is being re-surfaced, since road quality is equally important for safe driving, especially since the monsoon will be upon us in a few months. However, it is vital that the lane markings be painted back on as soon as possible. All speed cameras should also be checked to ensure that they work to perfection, to deter any irresponsible driving.

Meanwhile, drivers need to be extra cautious. The burden of safe and controlled driving lies on them too. Unfortunately, we frequently see motorists speeding on the Sea Link like there’s no tomorrow. Speeding was also the cause of the recent collision that killed a man and injured five others there on Monday.

Let us not be ruled only by the fear of punishment for breaking the law, but also maintain a respect for safety and life. Safe driving must be part of our mental make-up, and should simply be second nature to us.

Well-maintained roads and cars, strict implementation of rules and good road discipline — all this must come together to make the Sea Link as safe a stretch as possible.

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