Day watch on speeding, night vigil missing

RTO Mobile Squads Have Booked 1,765 Drivers Since June On The Expressway
It won’t kill to slow down, but on the expressway few drivers watch the speedometer swing dangerously to the right.On its part, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has booked about 1,765 cars for speeding on the Pune-Mumbai expressway in the last two months during the day .

A night vigil to catch speedsters and on-the-spot action against errant drivers will begin soon.

The severity of accidents has fanned the need for round-the-clock vigil on the expressway . Six youths were killed on Tuesday when their car overturned on the expressway . Kamshet police said the car skid on its roof for 150 feet before halting.

On May8 this year, Ganesh Tanaji Mate and Omkar and three others were injured after their car crashed into a median near Ozarde bridge.The driver lost his control over the steering wheel and the car flipped a few times before halting.

On June5, 17 people died and 33 others were injured near Shedung when their luxury bus rammed two cars, went off the road and landed in a fi eld around 15 feet below the expressway . The bus first hit two stationary cars parked on the roadside and then went off the road.

An RTO official on Wednesday said they had started the day with checks and after assessing its effect, they will decide on surveillance at night. At present, the RTO’s two mobile vans, equipped with the cameras, take up surveillance. They capture photographs of speeding vehicles and those changing lanes dangerously .

Ajit Shinde, deputy regional transport officer at Pimpri Chinchwad RTO, said, “Checks have been more vigorous in the last two months for speeding and lane-cutting.Our inspectors travel on the expressway in mobile vans throughout the day . So far, our cameras have caught over 1,765 vehicles for speeding.There is no on-the-spot action as of now. The cameras capture the registration number of a vehicle and we send a notice to the owner.“ Shinde said on-the-spot action against speeding vehicles is not feasible because the mobile van, which is installed with the camera, cannot chase each vehicle because of the risk _ the driver may speed even more to avoid the officials or panic.

“Our vehicles cannot speed to catch these vehicles. If there is a chase, it could lead to breaking of more rules by the errant driver who can try to run away to avoid action,“ he added. Notices are the best deterrents and respective RTOs must take action, he said.

Action against speeding is possible only on long stretches when a vehicle is in full speed. No action can be taken against those vehicles near the toll plaza as they slow down while approaching the toll lanes.

Drivers fail to maintain lane discipline on the three lanes on each corridor. An RTO source said rampant cases can be seen wherein even cars make use of left lanes for overtaking which is dangerous.

A retired officer from Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) said, drivers must understand that it is difficult to control a speeding vehicle, when the chances of losing control are highest if sudden brakes are applied or it dashes another vehicle.

Self-control is key on the expressway to avoid accidents due to speeding and dangerous lane cutting, he said.

Source : TOI