At a time when the road was widened to six lane, the fatalities shot up to 81 in 2006 with the majority of the victims being pedestrians
The nine-kilometre Hosur Road Elevated Expressway appears to have considerably reduced fatalities on this trunk road, down from 81 in 2006 to 20 in 2011 and 11 till July 2012. Since its opening in January 2010, the elevated road caters to vehicles moving to Electronic City and beyond, while the road beneath caters to traffic in and around Bommanahalli and Kudlu Gate.
At a time when the road was widened to six lane, the fatalities shot up to 81 in 2006 with the majority of the victims being pedestrians. The number reduced to 69 in 2007 and then to 31 in 2008, as the speed of vehicles reduced due to construction of the elevated road, and to 27 in 2009. After the elevated road was opened for traffic in 2010, there were only 19 road fatalities in that year.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M. Abdulla Saleem told The Hindu that the reduction in road fatalities could definitely be attributed to the elevated road. While no fatalities were reported on the elevated road since its opening, the road beneath continues to witness fatalities, a majority of whom are pedestrians, he said.
Personnel manning the toll booths at Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd. said about 20,000 four wheelers and 5,000 two-wheelers use the elevated road every day. The four-lane expressway was built by a consortium of Soma Enterprises, NCC Ltd. and Maytas Infra on build, operate and transfer basis for the National Highway Authority of India and was opened on January 22, 2010.
While the elevated road offers unhindered movement for vehicles, close watch kept by the traffic police has been aiding prevention of fatal accidents, according to Madiwala Traffic Police Inspector Lakshmi Narayan. More than half of the elevated road comes under his jurisdiction.
He said that there were three non-fatal accidents in 2010, one in 2011 and none so far in 2012. He said that the reduced speed limit, to 60 kmph from 80 kmph and surveillance through closed circuit television cameras were the reason for near-nil accidents on the elevated road.
What makes the elevated road different from the Hosur Road that runs below is that the expressway is an isolated road that is only accessible to vehicles.
Mr. Saleem said that pedestrians have been the victims as they haphazardly cross the road beneath; at times crossing the road through the median. Absence of any safe road crossing mechanism on the stretch too has to be blamed, he added.
There are no pedestrian underpasses nor there are foot-over-bridges. Bangalore District Deputy Superintendent of Police Kumaraswamy too expressed similar views, as the last portion of the elevated road comes under the district police.
In the absence of foot-over-bridges or subways, pedestrians should cross the road beneath at the designated pedestrian crossing zones, Mr. Saleem said.