Speeding is the root cause of most accidents on Mumbai-Pune Expressway: Survey

The detailed report submitted by two citizens to the PWD minister’s special officer yesterday offers solutions to curb mishaps on expressway; recommendations include installation of cameras equipped with speed guns and hefty fines on offenders

Four days after seven of a Kandivli family were killed after the SUV they were travelling in rammed into a dumper on Pune-Mumbai Expressway near Rasaini in Khalapur, a duo who has been surveying the Expressway for nearly 18 months to exact the root cause of these accidents met the Officer on Special Duty (OSD), for PWD minister Eknath Shinde yesterday to submit a detailed report of their findings.

Also read: Seven killed in Mumbai-Pune Expressway accident

A picture clicked during the survey shows how truck drivers flout lane discipline by driving in the right and the middle lane, instead of keeping left. Pic/Tanmay Pendse
A picture clicked during the survey shows how truck drivers flout lane discipline by driving in the right and the middle lane, instead of keeping left. Pic/Tanmay Pendse

In the report, the duo mentioned that speeding was the primary reason for most of the accidents on the Expressway. Tanmay Pendse, brother of Marathi actor Akshay Pendse who died in an accident on expressway in December 2012, and his friend Kaustubh Vartak surveyed the accident-prone spots on the Expressway and prepared a detailed report wherein they also mentioned measures that could be implemented to make commuting on the Expressway safe. They started their survey in January 2013 and concluded it by mid-2014.

“We had a fruitful meeting with the OSD, during which the officer was informed about the safety measures to prevent accidents on the Expressway. The issue needs to be addressed immediately because 993 people have died in various mishaps on the Expressway since it was opened for public 13 years ago.

Things need to change now, it’s high time. The meeting was satisfactory and we hope that the government implements our recommendations,” said Pendse.

Causes for mishaps
In the report submitted to the OSD, the duo mentioned that lack of lane discipline, driving on the wrong side, pedestrian crossing, debris, haphazard parking, poor visibility due to fog and two-wheelers plying on the Expressway, among others, were some other reasons for mishaps.

Also read: Why commuters on Mumbai-Pune E-way are having a harrowing time

“There is a need to install special purpose cameras when weather conditions become foggy. High-tech infrared cameras along side cameras equipped with speed guns should be installed at regular intervals along the 95-km-long stretch of the Expressway.

Heavy fines should be imposed on offenders, who drive above the prescribed speed limit. Last but not the least, brifen safety rope should be installed along the stretch of the Expressway,” said Pendse.

More measures suggested

>> Cameras in tunnels

>> Smart analytics on the system to detect speeding, speed drop, lane cutting, illegal halting, driving in the wrong lane, traffic congestion, two-wheelers in the tunnel, pedestrian crossing, debris, landslide detection, automated number recognition system & tracing (synced with RTO data base).

>> Automated e-chalan generation for violators

>> Mobile cameras on PCR vans for onsite support

>> Digital display system every 15-km relaying public information/ instruction to driver/ emergency messaging 

>> SOS alarm on both sides of the lanes 

>> Highway FM for instruction to commuters 

>> All these systems to be integrated and observed at the control and command centre, setup at a central location.

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