Your space: Need stringent rules, fines to reduce Pune-Mumbai e-way accidents
Several accidents on the Pune-Mumbai expressway involving stationary vehicles have raised serious questions on road safety. Are authorities not taking adequate steps to implement basic tenets of traffic rules? Here’s what our readers have to saypune Updated: Jun 10, 2018 15:11 IST
I feel the authorities need to make stricter rules and abide by them. Considering the fact that at least one accident happens on the Pune-Mumbai expressway every day, it is quite clear that rules are not being followed. Even if we have patrolling police authorities every 50km to examine the speed of vehicles and other traffic rules, the rate of accidents will come down. A stricter fine should be collected from those who are not following traffic rules. Technically, the speed limit is supposed to be 80km per hour, but people drive on the stretch at over 160km per hour; double of what is allowed. There is no lane discipline either. When it comes to accidents, authorities easily push it on drivers saying he/she was speeding. However, my question is why don’t we have people to control the same? It is something which is easily achievable and its the authorities’ duty to do the same. On the Khandala ghat, they are taking precautionary measures to avoid land slides, similarly, there needs to be strict and tight rules too.
Citizens need to be responsible and follow rules
The authority must ensure safety measures on the expressway to avoid accidents. People who don’t follow the set measures must be fined. Having said this, as citizens, it is our duty to act responsible as well. One cannot expect only authorities to do their duties while we shy away from them. We need to abide by rules and regulations, which in turn will make things easier for them. Also, an application of fines and their collection on a fair basis will help solve many issues.
Don’t speed and use mobile phones
Many drivers know that there are long stretches on the expressway that aren’t policed, so they blatantly speed and weave through traffic. They even answer their cellphones while speeding. These are the major reasons for accidents involving stationery vehicles. If the government deployed more police, armed with speed-check devices, on the expressway, the increasing number of accidents can be reduced.
Ban road transport of explosives, heavy commodities
I am concerned that the highway has become too dangerous for families to travel on with a peace of mind. In the past few years, the increased frequency of serious accidents has become alarming. In 2017, between January and August, there were approximately 20 serious accidents on the expressway stretch between Pune and Khandala. It now seems like there is at least one serious accident every week. In many cases, the accidents involve heavy trucks and speeding cars and frequently result in fatalities. I think the government should be provide incentives to the trucking industry to get some of the big rigs transferred to rail transport. The government should also enhance regulations for road transport of dangerous commodities on highway and should ban the transport of explosive or heavy commodities by road. I’m surprised the issue of safety hazards on highway did not become an election issue. It does make one wonder how many deadly accidents must occur before it gets the attention of our political leaders.
Elected representatives must raise issue in assembly
There is complete negligence on the part of drivers after their vehicle breaks down on the expressway, which results in the maximum number of mishaps on the Pune-Mumbai expressway. But at the same time, the rule enforcement expected from police is also missing. The police have become quite casual in their approach in dealing with stationary vehicles. Now-a-days, it is seen that the police is not taking any action against stationary vehicles parked indiscriminately on the expressway, which means that breaking the law is quite comfortable and there seems to be nothing wrong with what is happening. Even commuters have become lackadaisical in informing the policemen about violations on the highway. As a society, we have become careless and are not taking an initiative to ensure our safety on the expressway. The elected representatives, both at the state and the national level, have failed in their national duty of raising the issue in the state assembly . Unless the issue of stationary vehicles on the expressway is raised in the assembly, and a detailed discussion by the elected representatives is done, I don’t think that the issue will be resolved anytime soon.
Increasing speed limit on e-way is a mistake
Considering the rise in the number of accidents on the expressway, it is evident that the authorities have failed to ensure the common man’s safety on the road. While authorities have failed in implementing the existing traffic rules, they are coming up with proposals of increasing the speed limit on the expressway. Rather than introducing such new rules, they should focus on strictly implementing the existing rules. Motorists who drive at 120km per hour where the limit is 80-100km per hour, will now exceed the speed limit by a bigger margin. A small mistake at this speed can lead to a tragic accident. I do not see the point here in increasing the speed limit. The roads are not good enough to race nor do people have the basic sense to follow rules and drive sensibly.
Trucks parked on roadside are a threat to safety
I travel very often to Mumbai and till date, my experience driving on the Pune-Mumbai expressway has been very good. Sometimes, out of exhaustion, I have also stopped ahead of the toll plaza, but there is always a patrolling car which comes checking on you and if the car has a breakdown, they also call for help. But sometimes, I have noticed that a lot of trucks stop on the side of the expressway, where there is a sign which clearly says that halting on the expressway is illegal. This can be troublesome, especially when someone tries to get back into the lane without giving any signal.
Drivers need to be alert all the time
As a driver and a regular user of the Yashwantrao Chavan Mumbai-Pune expressway, I feel that 90 per cent of the time, it is because of the fault of the driver that an accident occurs. They should first follow all the rules and be perfectly alert. They should drive under the mentioned speed limit, which will help him or her control the car incase there are any distractions on the expressway. Most of the time, there are stationary vehicles that can be a cause for concern for any driver, but any kind of accident can be avoided if the driver is driving perfect and is confident in his/her driving skills. However, the authorities should also pull up their act and have stringent measures, in terms of punishment, in place and be vigilant against such drivers who halt their vehicles on the expressway.