Campaigns fail to curb accidents
After 17 people died and 47 were injured in an accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway near Panvel this month, the Navi Mumbai traffic department and RTO officials will intensify penalties on errant highway motorists.
The officials have been conducting drives on the expressway since the beginning of the month and have penalized over 1,500 motorists so far.
Till May, eight people had died and 12 were injured in 12 accidents on the highway. Only 14 kilometres of this highway falls under the jurisdiction of the Navi Mumbai police.
In the first five months of the year, 13 people died and 19 injured in accidents on the old Pune highway (NH 4). “Residents continue to flout traffic norms and risk their lives. Blaming motorists for accidents is not justifiable. In many cases, pedestrians are also responsible,” said a traffic officer.
Sources reveal that not just highways, but intra-city roads are accident-prone as well.
Sources from the Navi Mumbai traffic department said 137 people died and nearly 280 were injured in road accidents between January and May. In the same period in 2015, 134 died and 227 were injured.
In the first five months of the Thane-Belapur road being used, 12 people died in 27 major accidents. As many as 21 suffered injuries during this period.
On Palm Beach Road, four died and eight suffered injuries in 11 accidents between January and May this year.
“We have intensified drives against lane cutting, drunk driving and jumping traffic signals, not only on the highways, but on all arterial roads. We have deployed officers in Vashi, Kopar Khairane, Nerul and Kharghar and penalising errant motorists. Recently, nearly 250 people were penalised within three hours at a junction in Vashi,” said a senior officer from the traffic department.
“People do not follow traffic norms. Many do not wear helmets and seatbelts. Signal jumping is common among young motorists. They put their lives, and the lives of others at risk,” he said.