Need for speed fuelling accidents on Expressway

Jun 29, 2012, 08:04 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar and Sukirt D Gumaste

Data gathered by Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) during a one-hour sample survey, exclusively conducted for MiD DAY, reveals cars exceed speed limit by far; limit of 80 kmph has not been revised since Expressway was opened to public

The ongoing survey initiated after numerous fatal accidents on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, reveals that 80 per cent of the incidents have due to speeding. Data gathered by Central the Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) during a one-hour sample survey, exclusively conducted for MiD DAY, reveals that cars and light passenger vehicles exceed the stipulated speed limit on the E-Way. Cars have been clocked travelling at an average speed of 130 kmph while the speed limit here is 80 kmph. The speed limit has not been revised since it was constructed.

Making sense of chaos: Students of the National Institute of Technology and Central the Institute of Road Transport experts participate in the one-hour sample survey on the Expressway on Saturday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

During part three of MiD DAY’s E-Way survey, students of the National Institute of Technology and CIRT experts evaluated ‘classified vehicle volume’. The maximum speed limit is 80 kmph and the limit in the ghat section is 40 kmph. Cars and jeeps make up for over 75 per cent of the traffic on the E-Way and have been clocked exceeding 100 kmph. “The survey was conducted during the day, and we recorded 806 vehicles passing the point every hour.

This number generally doubles during the night. The number of vehicles has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, but speed regulations have remained the same. After analyzing the data and considering the current traffic volume, we conclude that the speed limit, which is currently 80 kmph, should be reduced to 74 kmph,” said Prashant Kakade, coordinator, Management Development Centre of CIRT.

He added that many stretches on the E-Way are straight, which encourages speeding. Drivers sometimes lose control upon encountering a sudden turn or obstruction.  Harshad Abhyankar, president, Save Traffic said that besides speeding, other factors are to blame. “Unawareness about the E-Way is the main reason for accidents. The stretch is only 94 km long, which is less compared to other highways. 

But the number of accidents is very high because people don’t know how to use it. In the past 10 years since it was built, the MSRDC, IRB or Highway Police have not made any efforts to educate the people about the E-Way concept, which is unlike that of other highways. There are proper norms to follow and it is the government’s responsibility to create awareness,” Abhyankar said.  

Survey findings
Number of vehicles per hour on E-Way: 806

Classification of vehicles in percentage:
Truck: 7.32%
Tanker: 2.36%
Multi-axle truck: 1.86%
LCV: 2.36%
Car: 54.46%
Jeep/light passenger
vehicle: 25.93%
Mini bus: 0.25%
Bus: 5.46%

Percentage of vehicles exceeding 80kmph:
Car: 25%
Jeep/light passenger vehicle: 16.22%
Bus: 14.63

Max speed observed
Truck: 67.50kmph
Tanker: 76.60kmph
Multi-axle truck: 53.20kmph
LCV: 72.48kmph
Car: 131.71kmph
Jeep/light passenger vehicle: 102.86kmph
Mini bus: 72.97kmph
Bus: 88.52kmph 

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