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How Mumbai cops reduced road accidents this year, saved more lives

Mumbai police are ensuring more victims get medical help during the golden hour

mumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2017 12:55 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai police,road accidents
The Vikhroli division, which covers a major part of the Eastern Express Highway, reported 16 fatal accidents so far this year, compared to 40 between January and June 2016.(HT File)

Mumbai recorded 222 deaths in road accidents from January to June, a drop compared to last year’s 286 in the first six months. In the first six months of 2017, the city recorded 1,536 road accidents. The figure last year was 1,651.

How did this happen?

The traffic police got experts to study the reasons behind the mishaps and implemented the corrective measures -- deployment of personnel, installation of lights and blinkers at accident-prone spots across the city -- they suggested to prevent deaths.

The analysis carried out with help from Bloomberg Philantrophies listed alcohol use as the main cause of fatal accidents between 2015 and 2016, and highlighted the need to provide better infrastructure to motorists.

Taking their suggestions into account, the police deployed a team of 20 along the western express highway. Their job: to be the first one to reach the spot where an accident is reported and ensure victims get medical help during the golden hour (crucial 45 minutes after a mishap).

“At times, crashes are a result of potholes. Our team keeps an eye on potholes and gets them filled in time. Policemen stand guard along the stretch till midnight, as speeding is common during wee hours. We have also started to crack down on drink driving,” said S Katakdhond, traffic police in-charge, Dindoshi traffic division, whihc has managed to reduce fatalities to 11 from last year’s 24.

The Vikhroli division, which covers a major part of the Eastern Express Highway, reported 16 fatal accidents, compared to 40 between January and June 2016. The rest of the highway comes under the Chembur division, which reported 17 fatal road accidents, fewer than last year’s 22.

“We put blinkers and white-and-yellow belts to provide better visibility at sharp turns. This helps the motorists see sharp curves, preventing a crash,” said Ashok Sakpal, senior inspector at Vikhroli traffic division, adding spots that had poor lighting, too, have been illuminated.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 12:54 IST