Ads overtake safety on Mumbai-Pune E-way

MSRDC rejects police’s plea to install lane indicators on overbridges as they are booked for advertisements
Commuters flouting lane discipline on the Mum bai-Pune expressway (E way) has been a serious cause for concern, causing multiple road accidents over the years. In an attempt to raise awareness among commuters, the highway police approached the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), requesting them to put up signs on the E-way to prompt travellers about the correct lanes.However, the MSRDC has rejected the plea with the excuse that all the overbridges are booked for advertisements till 2019.Highway police inspector Sudhir Aspat told Mirror, “Lack of lane discipline is a major cause for accidents on the E-way. Most of the vehicles travel at high speed and if any of them abruptly change lanes, it’s distracting for others.One wrong move could prove deadly for other commuters.“ The maximum speed of vehicles on the E-way must be maintained at 80 kmshour, but recent survey revealed that more than 90 per cent of the vehicles exceed the speed limit. According to highway po lice, lane discipline becomes more pertinent while travelling at a high speed, but vehicles often violate the rules.

In order to instil lane discipline, cops have been carrying out periodical special drives, but they found that many drivers are unaware of which lane to follow.“While cracking down on errant drivers, the latter reasoned that they do not even know which lane to follow. We have to educate them about lane discipline, but re aching every commuter is not possible,“ Aspat added.

Cops recently came up with a notification relaying instructions to all heavy vehicle users to keep driving in the left lane while other vehicles will have to drive in the middle lane. Now, in order to educate drivers, cops approached MSRDC officials, requesting them to put up the signs on the overbridges of the E-way so that it will be easier for commuters to spot the boards and they can follow appropriate lanes, but were met with disappointing responses.

A senior official of the highway police told Pune Mirror, “There are 27 overbridges on the expressway and if sign boards are placed on them, it will be easier for drivers to follow the lanes. However, MSRDC officials informed us that they have already placed advertisements in the spots, abiding by contracts with various agencies.“

Daily commuters are also of the opinion that if MSRDC allots the space on overbridges for placing the signs, it will be beneficial for drivers. Vishal Gaikwad, a regular commuter, said, “The present sign boards are hardly visible. If the boards are placed distinctly on the bridges, the travellers will start following rules.“

However, authorities at the MSRDC maintained a non-committal response. When Mirrorcontacted, P S Mandpe, joint managing director, MSRDC, he said, “We will work on the highway police’s request and will try to place some signboards on the overbridges.“

Source : TOI