Motorists blissfully living life in the fast lane need to wake up. State highway police has decided to take stricter action against drivers who don’t follow lane discipline on the 94-kilometre stretch of Pune-Mumbai Expressway. Four police help posts — equipped with wireless internet and other facilities — will be set up near Malavali, Pavana, Rasayani and Bhatne villages for better enforcement of lane discipline.
Violators will be fined a minimum of Rs 800 – including Rs 100 for lane cutting, Rs 200 for speeding and Rs 500 for rash, negligent and dangerous driving – under various sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. In order to collect the compoundable fees in such lane-cutting violations, Pune district collector will, in a week’s time, issue a final notification, clearly stating that the right lane will be strictly reserved for overtaking and left lane for heavy vehicles, while all other vehicles will have to stay in the middle lane.
Superintendent of police (highway) Dilip Bhujbal said, “An average of 34,000 vehicles pass through the expressway every single day, and nearly 80 per cent of them don’t follow lane discipline. Many serious and fatal accidents take place on the highways and expressway due to this unruliness. The Motor Vehicles Act, in its present form, does not have clear provisions regarding lane cutting, and hence we had sought a notification from the district collector, clearly stating the lane rules needed to be followed by different types of vehicles on highways and expressway.”
He added, “We have received positive suggestions from citizens regarding the plan and in a week’s time the final notification will be issued. Meanwhile, we are starting an awareness drive about the lane discipline norms from Friday, on the occasion of the launch of road safety week. Initially, vehicle owners and drivers will be sensitised about the issue, and then after a few days we will start penalising violators.”
“There are 38 over-bridges on the expressway, on which flex boards about lane discipline will be put up soon. A total of eight speed guns belonging to Pune and Thane region, and CCTV cameras with advanced software will be used to detect violators. Our teams will be stationed at four locations, and personnel from eight local police stations and traffic assistance points (TAPs) will be used for strict enforcement of lane regulations,” Bhujbal added.
Pimpri-Chinchwad deputy regional transport officer Jitendra Patil said, “Many heavy vehicles are found to be flouting lane discipline, and vehicle loading norms on the expressway. RTO officials can take action against these overloaded heavy vehicles. We have also suggested that off-loading facilities should be made available at toll plazas on the e-way.”