Greater Noida: 5 vehicles sped every two minutes on Yamuna Expressway in March
In March, five vehicles were found speeding every two minutes on the Yamuna Expressway, with some even found driving at over 200 kilometres per hour (kmph).
With instances of speeding on the rise, officials said that it is hard to bring down the number of accidents and on-road fatalities, which have been on a rise since the expressway was opened. In the last three years, the number of fatalities increased. In 2015, 99 people died in accidents while 105 and 110 people died in accidents on the expressway in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
In March, 111,668 motorists were caught speeding on the camera on camera, i.e., driving at a speed of more than 100 kmph. However, the police could only issue a challan to 484 of the 111,668 errant drivers. As many as 17,64,243 vehicles used the expressway in March.
The speed limit for small vehicles is 100 kmph whereas the speed limit for heavy vehicles is 60 kmph.
Following criticism from the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition seeking motorists’ safety on the expressway, the Uttar Pradesh government has directed the officials to intensify enforcement to contain speeding and other traffic violations that cause accidents.
“We are taking multiple steps to intensify enforcement so that motorists do not over speed or violate traffic norms. One of the major causes of accidents is indiscipline on this road and strict enforcement will help us in ensuring that motorists do not over speed or break traffic rules,” Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), said.
According to the data provided by YEIDA, as many as 4,984 accidents took place on the Yamuna Expressway in about six years, from October 1, 2012 to April 10, 2018. In this period, 540 persons were killed in road accidents.
Since the highway was opened to the public, the number of fatalities on the stretch has been continuously increasing. In 2012, the year when the expressway was opened to the public, 23 persons died in accidents. In 2013, the number increased to 89. In 2014, 98 people died. The number increased to 99 in 2015, 105 in 2016 and 110 in 2017. In the first three months of this year, 16 people have already died in multiple accidents.
YEIDA, Uttar Pradesh police and the toll operator—Jaypee Infratech— are facing a tough challenge in containing instances of speeding, one of the major reasons of accidents on the 165km Yamuna Expressway that connects Greater Noida with Agra.
Jaypee Infratech passed the buck onto the authorities on the ground, saying that the responsibility to enforce traffic rules on this road lies with the UP police, as their staff cannot punish offenders. A spokesperson said that the state government should provide adequate staff for proper enforcement so that instances of speeding could be checked.
“We are ready to do our job but the government needs to deploy adequate police on the expressway so that motorists have fear and do not dare to violate rules, which is the major cause of accidents,” a spokesperson for Jaypee Infratech said.
“We regularly fine vehicles for speeding. We will also cancel the vehicle registration and the driving licence in case of the third offence by the driver. Besides this, we will be intensifying our enforcement with the help of technology, which will enable us to issue challans instantaneously,” Anil Kumar Jha, SP traffic, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
Experts and highway engineers also say that enforcement is the key to controlling speed on access-controlled highways that can accommodate higher speeds.
“Unlike urban roads, where speed calming measures can be used, enforcement is the only solution on highways. Another way is to install speed governors in all vehicles, but that is a policy decision and needs to be taken at the Central government level,” Jacob George, a road safety expert, said.
According to YEIDA officials, 150 of 111,668 vehicles drove at a speed of 200-250 kmph while 80% of the vehicles recorded a speed of 130-150 kmph. The remaining vehicles clocked a speed of 100-130 kmph, officials said.