Accidents on expressway prompt fresh survey of state highways
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The alarming rate of accidents on the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway has prompted the State Highway Police to conduct a fresh survey of accident-prone spots on highways. In 2012 alone, the expressway, which was opened to traffic about 12 years ago, witnessed 475 accidents in which 105 people died.
An accident-prone spot, also referred to as 'blind spot', is usually a sharp curve, long diversion or natural or man-made object blocking the driver's view.
Vijay Kamble, Additional Director General of Police (highway) said police officers had identified 126 blind spots on national highways earlier and a fresh survey was needed. "Some of the problems on blind spots identified earlier have been rectified, but new blind spots have emerged on national highways," said Kamble.
Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) has now asked the Federation of International Automobiles (FIA) to intervene and send equipment to study the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Mumbai-Goa Highway. The "van" with more than 12 cameras will record the road condition and accident spots. WIAA, however, is waiting for PWD nod for the survey.
WIAA chairman Nitin Dossa said their analysis shows 80 per cent of the accidents occur due to 'human error', the rest are due to mechanical error. "The police should conduct a survey to find out the age of drivers involved in the accidents and the hours that they had been behind the wheel without proper sleep," said Dossa.
Until now, the expressway, a project of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), was equipped with only four ambulances and a central control room at Lonavala for emergency response services .
Measures to reduce accidents
TRAUMA CARE & COPTER SERVICE
To ensure medical help within the golden hour, MSRDC has awarded a contract to Pune-based Woodstock Helicopters to construct a trauma care centre at Ozarde village near Talegaon toll post. The company will also construct a helipad which will provide air ambulance services for the nearest hospital. The level-four trauma care centre will be equipped to conduct initial evaluation, stabilise the accident victims' condition and offer diagnostic services.
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