Killer roads: Race to save time ends up costing lives outside Sahara Star
Motorists in a hurry to get to the airport and lane-cutting before and after the flyover have made the area outside Hotel Sahara Star in Vile Parle a notorious accident site; residents and experts say deploying cops to man the spot could bring down a
Centaur bridge, Vile Parle
The spot right at the beginning of the bridge in front of Hotel Sahar Star is a notorious accident spot. The road and bridge in the area is one of the busiest on the Western Express Highway. Apart from daily commuters, the spot also sees thousands of vehicles going to and from the airport. Owing to the heavy traffic and congestion on the flyover, motorists try to speed up as they climb the bridge, leading to accidents. Drivers of taxis, autos and private aggregators are always under pressure from passengers urging them to speed up in order to get to the airport on time.
- Speeding up at the start and end of the flyover
- Lane cutting
- Rash driving during peak hours
- Deployment of traffic cops to enforce traffic rules and discipline
- Sign boards indicating black spots
Shahbaz Shaikh, who lost the use of one leg after an accident on the flyover at Vile Parle last year. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Case study: On February 8, 2017, Shahbaz Shaikh, 25, was on his way home from work when he had the worst experience of his life. A Jogeshwari resident, Shaikh was employed with Quickr in Bandra as a delivery boy. He was on his bike when the accident happened. Shaikh, who recalled the horror to mid-day, said that while on the flyover, a private aggregator, who seemed to be in a great hurry, crashed his car straight into him. The impact was so great that Shaikh crashed his bike into another private aggregator's car. Shaikh fell and injured himself badly.
He was taken to the nearest trauma centre, only to realise that he had broke his left leg. He was later moved to Millat Nagar hospital by his family. The doctors have inserted a metal rod in his left leg now. Shaikh said that from the day of the accident till date he has not walked once. During the rains and winter, the pain in his leg becomes acute, causing stress and lack of sleep.
Illustration/ Ravi Jadhav
After the accident and because of his medical condition, he lost his job. Shaikh said he was earning Rs 18,000 a month, and now he is dependent on his elder brother and father, which is a source of stress for him. He feels cut off from the world as he cannot stand or walk for long. He also added that the traffic cops should supervise traffic and vehicle speed limits in the area as people suddenly speed up in a hurry to get to the airport.
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