E-WAY WOES CONTINUE – Cops switch lanes with new test run

Heavy vehicles will now be only in the middle lane, as opposed to the earlier rule of keeping to the left; commuters left wary
In their desperation to bring about some measure of discipline on the PuneMum bai Expressway, the highway police have come up with yet another experiment.From Thursday, heavy vehicles will now have to keep to the middle lane in the ghat section of the E-way, while light motor vehicles will use the extreme left and right lanes. This move is contradictory to the highway police’s earlier notification in September, where they had asked heavy vehicles to stick to the left lane.

The ghat section of the E-way, passing through Lonavala and Khandala, has always remained critical, mostly due to heavy vehicles slowing down due to the stiff slope of the ghat.In order to overtake each other, drivers usually occupy all three lanes, thus blocking the entire E-way.

To tackle traffic jams in the ghat section, the highway police came out with a notification in September, instructing all heavy vehicle drivers to keep to the from extreme left lane. All drivers were allowed to enter the middle lane only while overtaking other vehicles. In the same notification, the police specified that no heavy vehicle driver is allowed to overtake other vehicles in the ghat section.

However, the police have evidently decided to modify their own instructions and decided to carry out a new experiment. Speaking to Pune Mirror, a senior highway police official, requesting anonymity, said, “We have observed that heavy vehicles are finding it difficult to travel in the left lane when they are in the ghat section where the slope is steep and turns are difficult. If we allow them to travel in the middle lane, it will be easier for heavy vehicles to take a turn. The experiment is expected to begin from Thursday.“ While the highway police continue to experiment, execution and monitoring of vehicular movement in the ghat section remains an issue that urgently needs to be addressed. According to highway police officials who work on the field, the ghat section is a critical section for monitoring. “Firstly, there is hardly any space from where we can monitor the traffic movement. The other issue is that even if we spot a heavy vehicle not following lane discipline, it is extremely difficult for us to stop it in the middle of the ghat section as it will cause a traffic jam.“

Commuters, too, feel that allowing heavy vehicles to travel in the middle lane will cause confusion. Sunil Rithe, a regular traveller to Mumbai told Pune Mirror, “If the middle lane is blocked by heavy vehicles, it will be extremely difficult for light vehicles to overtake each other from the extreme left and right lanes.“

Source : TOI