NAVI MUMBAI: Lane-cutting and speeding are the major causes of road accidents, traffic officials said after analysing recent accidents on the expressway.
The deaths of 17 people on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway after a bus crashed into two stationary cars on Sunday has again raised the question of the safety of motorists on highways.
The expressway has three lanes on each direction.
“The first lane (the one adjacent to the divider) is for overtaking. The second lane is for light vehicles and the third lane is for buses and other heavy vehicles. However, most of the motorists do not follow the rules. They cut into other lanes and end up hitting vehicles moving ahead of them,” said P Awhad, inspector, highway traffic police.
Sunday’s accident too happened after the bus driver cut lanes.
“The bus which was supposed to ply on the third lane, hit a stationary Swift Dzire on the first lane. It clearly shows that the bus driver for some reason cut the lane,” he added.
To curb the menace of lane-cutting, the Navi Mumbai police had conducted a special drive on the highway between April 17 and May 14. As many as 5,122 vehicles were penalised and the police collected Rs5,17,400 in fines during the drive. “That drive was conducted between Panvel and Khalapur on the expressway and not a single fatal accident was reported on that stretch during the time. We had started a similar drive from June 1 for the safety of the motorists,” Awhad added.
Around 14km of the expressway come under the jurisdiction of the Navi Mumbai police. Balasaheb Gade, senior police inspector of Panvel traffic unit, said that speeding is yet another reason of accident on the highway.
“99% of the accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway take place because of human errors. The road has dividers, guide boards for the motorists and there is no mistake in its construction. Analysing most recent accidents, we have understood that speeding and overtaking are the major reasons behind the accidents. If every motorist follow the norms and ply on the designated lanes, the number of accidents will come down on the road,” he said.