55 accidents in 2 months involving stationary vehicles on Mumbai-Pune eway
Following the series of incidents, experts have called for a list of dos and don’ts to be prominently put up by the police.Updated: Jun 04, 2018 16:33 IST
A series of accidents during the past fortnight on Pune-Mumbai expressway, involving stationary vehicles being hit by others, have once again put the issue of traffic safety on the expressway in sharp focus. According to highway police, as many as 55 mishaps were reported between January and February this year where vehicles stationed on the expressway were rammed into by other vehicles due to various reasons, including speeding and low visibility.
The lack of a defined course of action and negligence on the part of drivers after their vehicle breaks down has resulted in the mishaps, said officials from highway security police force. Following the series of incidents, experts have called for a list of dos and don’ts to be prominently put up by the police.
On May 31, two men were killed and two others were seriously injured when a speeding pickup van rammed into their truck, which had stopped due to a deflated tyre at Kamshet. Earlier, on May 27, a good Samaritan, who was helping a car driver change his punctured wheel, died at Lonavla on the Pune-Mumbai expressway after a speeding tempo knocked him down during the wee hours. Anil Mangsule was holding a battery light to help a cab driver, who was replacing a punctured wheel, when the other vehicle rammed him.
A month before the two incidents, on April 30, five people were killed after a tempo hit them as they were towing their broken down car. In all these incidents, the deceased were either trying to fix their vehicle or were towing them.
If a vehicle breaks down, the immediate reaction should be to call ideal road builders (IRB) and/or the national highway authority of India (NHAI), according to experts.
"The first step is to take the vehicle to the safety shoulder (supposed to be as wide as a lane) built on either side of the road," said Prashant Kakade, manager and coordinator at management development centre (MDC) at Pune-based central institute of road transport (CIRT).
"Residents should always carry an orange reflective parking triangle, expecting a vehicle breakdown. We are used to switching on the tail lamps or leaving a stone and the branch of a tree to signify vehicle failure," Kakade added.
"In case of an emergency halt on the expressway or any highway, take your vehicle to the extreme left shoulder lane and ensure that your vehicle is not on the running lane," said Amol Tambe, superintendent of police (traffic), highway safety patrol.
Listing other measures, he added, "Keep the parking light indicators on, keep the reflective parking triangle at least 100 metres behind the vehicle and have one person at least 500 metres behind the halted vehicle to signal incoming vehicles to slow down."
For their own safety, passengers of the halted vehicles should disembark from the vehicle and avoid standing near the vehicle, he added.
However, blaming the poor maintenance of vehicles, Kakade said, "If you look at the vehicles, 70% to 80% have bald tyres. People consider maintenance as a loss of money and often skip servicing their vehicles."
Listing other factors that are known to cause accidents in the wee hours of the day, Kakade added, “Drivers are not supposed to eat too much while driving. It leads to drowsiness and controlling speed also becomes difficult. What they eat is very important.”