Enforcement of speed limits on the busy Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway remains a major cause of concern. Around 70 challans are issued on the highway every day for overspeeding, but this does not seem to act as much of a deterrent for the violators.
Police officials on duty on the expressway say that drivers violate traffic rules with impunity. According to the officials, lack of proper driving training and self-discipline are two big reasons for commuters to drive dangerously.
On the expressway, the maximum speed limit is 80 kmph for cars and 60 kmph for trucks. But police officials say that most of the vehicles using the road exceed the speed the limit, which on several occasions results in fatal accidents.
Some see the availability of modern and sophisticated vehicles as one of the reasons for overspeeding.
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Ramesh Menon, a motorcycling aficionado, said, “An expensive bike or a car can go from 0 to 100 kmph in a couple of seconds. And it is possible that the driver may not be able to handle the pick-up. There is a need to learn driving skills and be very careful while driving heavy machines on the expressway.”
Lack of driving skills, failure to follow traffic rules and lax enforcement of norms are the reasons that lead to maximum accidents. Incidents of hit-and-run are also another cause of concern.
As per the data of the Gurgaon police, around 500 people lost their lives in accidents on the highway since 2008. As per the data, half of these victims were pedestrians or two-wheeler riders.
Highway officials admit that a majority of accidents on the expressway take place because of overspeeding vehicles, which crush pedestrians, ram into two-wheelers or overturn as drivers often lose control.
“We have put up signboards, which clearly mention the speed limits. Also, officials conduct regular awareness drives to promote safe driving. But enforcing speed limit is the responsibility of the police. We have requested them to increase their presence on the road and will also write to the state government in this regard,” said Ashok Sharma, highway administrator.
Lack of adequate police presence on the expressway has been a bone of contention between the highways authority and district administration.
According to the Gurgaon police, it does not have adequate manpower to enforce traffic rules on the expressway, which is the job of the NHAI. As per the NHAI Act, the authority to challan and penalise offenders lies with the highways authority.
Gurgaon police spokesperson assistant commissioner of police Hawa Singh said they issue 60 to 70 challans every day on the highway, but drivers continue to flout the norms.
“There is little respect for law. We try our best to enforce traffic rules on this road,” said Singh.
The Gurgaon police is hoping that the recent announcement by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to allot more policemen will help the department enforce rules not only on the expressway but across the city in a better way.