Cyrus Mistry's death: Experts raise concern over safety measures on roads, slew of measures required to curb accidents

RK Padmanabhan, former additional director general of police (traffic), Maharashtra, said that traffic discipline issues are more important and need to be taken up speedily.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, September 06, 2022, 10:59 PM IST
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Cyrus Mistry's death: Experts raise concern over safety measures on roads, slew of measures required to curb accidents | Representative

Experts and users called for greater awareness and action to ensure there are no fatalities and accidents on highways post-Cyrus Mistry's death. Of the four people who met with the accident, two died as they were not wearing seat belts. Experts told FPJ that authorities needed to focus on getting people to wear seat belts, issue challans for lane cutting, and have uniformity of lanes, shoulders and trauma centres on highways among others.

"Every car driver should insist that people should wear a seat belt. It was tragic that they died, and not wearing a seat belt was one of the big reasons. The impact is certainly less when there is a seat belt on," said Nitin Dossa, chairman of Western India Automobile Association (WIAA), a body known for taking up issues of motorists.

Speakers said that such a measure should be not just on highways but also expressways. "Right now that is not happening," said Dossa. He also advocated for trauma care centres at regular distances to save lives. "There was no good trauma care centre nearby. When there are so many deaths, why has the government failed to have such facilities? People of the villages where such hospitals come up will also benefit," said Dossa.

RK Padmanabhan, former additional director general of police (traffic), Maharashtra, said that traffic discipline issues are more important and need to be taken up speedily. "I would say lane cutting is the biggest cause of deaths on the highways. It is a bigger issue than speeding or any other issue. Seat belts could have saved them, but if lane cutting is stopped, this problem would not have come up. It seems there was a vehicle before her that probably swerved to avoid a pothole when she was about to overtake it and that is why this accident happened," said Padmanabhan.

Shoulders on highways, road design, even the number of lanes and heavy vehicles not following road discipline were other serious issues Padmanabhan and some others echoed. "There should be uniformity in the width and lanes on the highways. This particular road did not have any shoulder," said Padmanabhan.

“On this particular stretch, heavy vehicles mostly occupy the right or the middle lane. If a car has to overtake, it has to mostly do that from the left side," said Jagdeep Desai, a regular passenger on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway and an analyst.

Desai said the poor signages on the highway do not help. They are either not there or too close to be an effective alert as vehicles are driving at a high speed. "You leave too much on a driver. The authorities are too lax. They should be enforcing traffic discipline. Instead of ensuring traffic discipline, they are at check nakas looking to extort money," said Desai.

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