Fatal Accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway Seeing a Rise Even With Reduced Traffic

Fatal Accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway Seeing a Rise Even With Reduced Traffic

Though one may assume that the strict lockdowns enforced since March would bring about a reduction in accidents and deaths on busy highways like the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the statistics tell a different story. 

As per numbers released by the highway police that covers the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the number of deaths as a result of road accidents in September 2020 is nearly identical to the figures from the same period last year. This is despite a significant reduction in vehicular traffic this year.

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The data also shows that the number of vehicles travelling on the Expressway currently stands at around 20,000 per day, while the figure was nearly 30,000 vehicles per day prior to the lockdown. 

It is said that 51 people have lost their lives as a result of accidents on this route this year between January and September. By comparison, 58 people lost their lives due to accidents on this route between Jan - Sep 2019. 

The authorities have expressed concern with this year’s figures given that the first two months of 2020 saw a low ratio of road accident-related deaths. 

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Shining more light on the matter, Sanjay Jadhav, Inspector, Highway Police said - “The first and foremost thing that drivers need to learn while driving on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is to strictly follow the rule of driving in the lane and not indulge in lane cutting at all. We are also making provisions to ensure that the cops are stationed at every intersection in order to alert drivers in case they aren’t following rules.”

Accident researcher Tanmay Pendse said that people are found to be taking less precautions while on the Expressway as a result of the reduction in traffic. “This is an open invitation for accidents and drivers on that road now have a mindset that since there are fewer vehicles, he/she is safe and can drive at greater speeds,” he added. 

Highway police data shows that a total of 50 severe accidents occurred between January and September 2019 leading to the deaths of 58 people. However, in the same period this year, 51 people have lost their lives in 43 accidents. 

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