With the state government contemplating various measures to reduce the number of accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a proposal is under consideration to allow motorists to officially cruise at 100 kmph, after withdrawing the current speed restriction of 80 kmph.
Currently, the expressway’s speed limit is the lowest among most expressways in the world, but even with a relatively low speed restriction, the highway has witnessed several accidents since it was thrown open to motorists.
Bearing that in mind, authorities will install an automated surveillance system to make sure drivers adhere to the speed limit. Cameras that will form part of a high-tech radar based system will capture images of the vehicles violating the speed limit. Violators would then be apprehended at exit-entry points where they will be handed a speeding ticket.
The government’s intention to bring discipline on the roads, however, has got few takers. Some officials feel that the penalising process would impede the motion of vehicles and result in traffic congestion on the highway.
“Most of the motorists do not adhere to the speed restriction. In this scenario, the administration may have to issue nearly 2,000 receipts per day,” said Minister of State for Home Satej Patil.
Patil, along with three other ministers of state — Ranjit Kamble, Fauzia Khan and Gulabrao Deokar — are part of a committee that is currently working on the safety measures for the state and national highways.
Till date nine meetings have been held and the committee is expected to submit its report within a few days. Speculation is that the committee may suggest the emulation of the road safety model currently being implemented by authorities on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh.
The expressway implements an access controlled highway traffic management system, which includes cameras after every 5-km, video incident detection system, speed monitoring, vehicle recognition system, emergency call boxes at every 2-km distance, quick response vehicles, and patrolling vans.
“This model may require funding ranging from Rs 100 crore to Rs 150 crore, but it will help reduce the number of accidents and bring order on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway,” said an official who is assisting the committee.
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