The number of fatalities on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is declining every year but the number of accidents still remain high. In the last eight years, 500 people have lost their lives on the highway and half of them are pedestrians and motorcyclists.
In view of the high number of accidents, blackspots should be identified and corrective measures taken to further reduce the death rate and chances of accidents.
The number of deaths on the expressway have fallen from 115 in 2008 to 30 in 2015. Though the number of accidents have also declined, the figure still remains high with 628 accidents reported in 2015.
Experts say the reason for high number of accidents is the faulty road design, which needs immediate improvement. The Gurgaon police, who have often received flak for regular accidents and congestion on the expressway, also have been saying that the chaos on the road was more about bad road engineering and design than law enforcement.
Transport expert Dr Sewa Ram said that road surface, road signs, and design has played a significant role in making this road unsafe, particularly for pedestrians and two-wheeler users. “Apart from better enforcement, there is a need to identify the high-risk spots on this road such as Shanker Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk and the stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza,” he said. Ram said it is important for the highway officials to understand that drivers can make errors but the road design must reduce the quantum and impact of human error.
Last year, a study conducted by DIG (traffic and highways) Sibash Kabiraj identified 31 blackspots across the state and 25 of these were in Gurgaon alone. The report highlighted that out of 129 fatal accidents at these spots, 125 were reported from Gurgaon. Several blackspots were identified near the Kherki Daula toll plaza too.
Road safety officer Neeraj Diwan believes that entry and exit points on the expressway should be redesigned, and widened as a number of accidents are reported near these openings. “We also need to have better lane discipline and control on the speed of vehicles that crisscross the road,” he said.
The expressway operator Skylark, meanwhile, says that a number of measures have been taken to reduce fatalities and serious accidents. However, Skylark says if the police also joins hands with them, the number of accidents can be reduced further.
Skylark has introduced a vehicle tracking system and increased patrolling to reduce the number of accidents. “We have identified blackspots where accidents are happening and the gaps are being plugged,” Navneet Pratap Singh, CEO of Skylark, said.
Highway administrator Ashok Sharma called for more support from the police department, and said that the highway concessionaire MCEPL is ready to compensate the police for posting more personnel on duty. “We will write to the Haryana government for more assistance and also appeal to the people to obey traffic rules,” he said.