Dnyaneshwar Kale was reading his newspaper outside the Bandra Hindu Association school when he saw a Honda Accord speed by on Wednesday morning. “Seeing the manner in which the car sped past, and that too in the wrong direction on a one-way road, I thought it would crash,” said Kale, who heard a loud sound moments later. “I looked up from the newspaper and saw the car crash into an auto on Linking Road.”
Even as people started running towards the auto, the car continued to smash into other vehicles, stopping only after it hit a Maruti Swift Dzire, two parked vehicles – a Mahindra XUV and a BMW – and knocked down a motorcyclist. “The biker was a stout fellow, but the impact of the crash was such that he was thrown in the air and landed quite a distance away,” Kale said.
A security guard attached to a local store said: “The car hit the XUV so hard that it entered the store.”
The accident, which killed two persons and injured two others, was waiting to happen, said locals who complain that though there are two one-way lanes at the junction, motorists blatantly violate traffic rules in both lanes. “Vehicles keep flouting one-way lane rules. The problem gets compounded because there is no traffic signal at the junction, nor is it manned by a traffic constable,” said a resident from the locality, requesting anonymity.
Traffic police officials said it’s too small a junction for a signal and that they don’t have enough manpower at the Bandra traffic division to post a constable at the spot.
RK Chavan, senior police inspector at the Bandra traffic division, said: “Our jurisdiction spans from Mahim to Juhu Tara Road, and we have just 35 officials. It is impossible to post a constable at every junction, so we have put up notifications at such spots. People are expected to follow rules. If all such junctions have to be manned, we would require 500 more policemen.”
Traffic police officials said the meagre fine of Rs100 for violating the one-way rule does not act as a deterrent. A proposal to hike fines has been pending with the state government for the past two-and-a-half years.