Overspeeding and lack of lane discipline are the biggest causes of accidents on expressway,say state highway police. Proposals have been sent to over 50 regional transport offices (RTOs) in the state to suspend licences of drivers found involved in over two traffic offences of serious nature.
Statistics from the state expressway police reveal that between January and April this year,the number of fatal accidents and deaths reported on Pune-Mumbai expressway have come down compared to last year.
However,for the Pune-Mumbai old highway (at the Wadgaon tap),the number has gone up significantly this year. While the number of fatal accidents last year wase 12,with 21 deaths,this year it came down to seven accidents with seven deaths for the same four-month period. The number of serious accidents last year were 12,with 40 serious injuries,while this year there were 14 accidents with 25 persons with serious injuries.
On the Pune-Mumbai old highway,the number of fatal accidents on the Khandala tap last year were five with eight deaths,while this year the figure was nil for the same four months period. However,for the Wadgaon tap,the number of accidents has gone up drastically in these four months this year with 15 accidents and 16 deaths compared to three accidents and four deaths last year.
Dilip Bhujbal,superintendent of police,highway traffic,Pune region,said,”One of the biggest challenges is to ensure that drivers of heavy vehicles stick to the designated left lane. But they keep coming to the middle lane or the first lane that is meant for overtaking. This is one of the major causes for accidents.”
He added that the state highway police has given proposals to over RTOs of the state to suspend licences of heavy vehicle drivers who have more than two serious offences registered against them. “We’re trying to ensure that drivers who are booked under Section 184 of the IPC (for dangerous driving) more than twice are taken off the road at least for a brief period of time. In the second phase,we will write to the RTOs in other states also,” added Bhujbal.
When asked about the proposal,Regional Transport Officer,Pune region,Arun Yeola said,”In certain cases,we’re also considering canceling drivers’ licences. In the case of suspension of licences,depending upon the seriousness of the offence and the driver’s involvement in the accident,we suspend the licence for a period of 30 days to six months.”