While the Marathi Film industry continues to mourn the deaths of well-known Marathi actors Anand Abhyankar and Akshay Pendse who were among the three people killed in an accident on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway recently, the real question to be answered is, have we learnt anything from our past mistakes?
The Pune-Mumbai Expressway is the fastest mode joining these two cities. It’s known as India’s first six-lane tolled expressway which became fully operational in 2002.The expressway has definitely been one of the most time-saving options while travelling between Pune and Mumbai, however, there are growing concerns regarding the increasing accidents here.
The year 2012 has witnessed 129 accidents, most were fatal. The past six years had over 9,000 accidents. These statistics were provided by Pune MLC Mohan Joshi in a recent press conference.
Former principal secretary of the Transport department Ramanath Jha, made an analysis of road accidents in which he revealed that 56% of the mishaps take place during the night. During the day, the mishap-prone hour has been between 6 and 7 am. This, according to Jha’s analysis, is due to fatigue experienced by drivers. Thirty-three per cent of mishaps take place between 1 and 5 am, while 23% happen between 12 noon and 4 pm.
Some areas on the 90-km expressway are more accident –prone. Going by the statistics the kilometer distance (46 to 49) in the Khandala ghat section and the kilometer distance 80 to 81, which is just a few kilometers away from the Urse toll post, are more prone to accidents.
The main reason for these accidents is that the commuters fail to adhere to the traffic rules. The speed limit on the expressway is about 80 km- per- hour which most people tend to ignore. However, cars move at the speed of 100-140 km- per -hour. Also, drivers fail to maintain lane discipline, most keep weaving in and out of lanes.
The only way to reduce these accidents on this expressway is when each and every driver adopts a conscious effort to follow the traffic rules set and as a driver puts the lives of others before his own.