Eastern Freeway or race track? Mumbai police left chasing bikers
Bikers use the 16.8km freeway for races as it has no signals, potholesmumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2017 09:47 IST
Despite a ban on motorbikes, the absence of traffic signals and potholes on the Eastern Freeway are too big a lure for bikers who see a night-time race track in it, where traffic rules go for a toss.
Heavy vehicles, three-wheelers, pedestrians and two-wheelers are not allowed on the 16.8-km freeway, which was intended to cut travel time between South Mumbai and the eastern suburbs.
Early Saturday, it was not just one traffic offence, but two that was seen in an accident when a bike with three people on it crashed into a divider, killing one.
According to a traffic policeman, there are two chowkies on the freeway responsible for ensuring no bikes enter the freeway.
Senior police inspector Rohini Kale from Trombay traffic division said, “We have been appointing a constable at the start of the freeway from the Panjarpol-end to stop bikers from entering. Meanwhile, we have also got patrolling traffic police who stop bikers who manage to enter mid-way.”
But, traffic policemen said that the bikers ride at a high speed, which makes it impossible for the constables to stop them. “We do not try to stop bikers who ride at a high speed. Some of them also manage to evade the police by hiding behind heavy vehicles,” said Kale.
Traffic officials said speeding motorists and a disregard for lane discipline are the main reasons behind most accidents on the freeway.
While the speed limit on the freeway is 80kmph, the speed limit at the turns on the freeway has to be 40kmph or less, but these norms are often flouted
According to the World Health Organisations’ 2015 report on road safety, “A 5% cut in average speed can result in 30% reduction in fatal crashes.” The report further points out, “An adult pedestrian’s risk of dying is almost 60% if hit by a car at the speed of 80 kmph. Thirty-kmph speed zones can reduce the risk of a crash and are recommended in areas like residential and schools areas.”