‘Hardly any suggestions on safety implemented’

Three AIIMS doctors died in an accident on Yamuna Expressway recently.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A 45-year-old Uttar Pradesh Police constable managing traffic at the Mathura toll booth on Yamuna Expressway was run over by an SUV late on December 31, 2017. Constable Vijay Pal is still bed-ridden and undergoing treatment.

Santosh Singh, PCR driver on patrol duty from Maat police post in Mathura district, said, “We patrol 95 km of the 165-km expressway and respond to every accident call, whether major or minor. The nearest hospital is about 30 km away and takes at least an hour to get medical help for accident victims. The expressway provides ambulances but most accident victims need to be taken to a hospital.”

In the past six years, casualty figures on the expressway have risen fivefold — from 23 causalities in 2012 to 110 deaths in 2017.

The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) had conducted a road safety audit on the expressway in 2014 and suggested several safety checks as the volume of traffic is growing rapidly.

S. Velmurugan, senior principal scientist and former head of the Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, CRRI, attributed the rise in violations to a variety of vehicles travelling on the expressway.

He said two-wheelers, autorickshaws and tractors are the usual suspects and mostly violate traffic rules like driving on the wrong side of the carriageway and driving in the wrong lane.

“Two-wheelers are not allowed on Mumbai-Pune expressway, therefore, the number of accidents and casualties are very less compared to Yamuna Expressway, where two-wheelers and autorickshaws are allowed,” he added.

“We had suggested installation of speed breakers at every 5 km and commissioning of tyre pressure measuring stations at all entry and exit points of the expressway, including toll plazas, but hardly any recommendations have been implemented,” said Dr. Velmurugan.

A commuter claimed there is no check on traffic violations on the expressway.

He added that these violations range from trucks carry protruding rods and heavy vehicles without functional tail lights or reflectors to motorists parking vehicles on the side of the road without switching on the hazard-warning lights.

Greater Noida resident Ajay Garg said, “The expressway is the only way to reach Agra quickly. Whenever I need to go to Agra I drive very carefully. Two-wheelers are another menace as they drive recklessly in the wrong lane.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 3:08:07 AM |

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