Highways to hell: Fatal accidents soar on Western Express Highways, Eastern Express Highways

Mumbai: The city’s expressways help you make it expeditiously not only to your earthly destination but to the other world also, it appears, going by the key findings in a recent report by the Mumbai Traffic Control Branch (MTCB), in collaboration with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Road Safety (BIGRS). The Eastern and Western Express Highways (EEH and WEH) have been identified as two of the most accident-prone spots in the city. They continue to remain the highest risk corridors of the city, with the number of fatalities numbering 52 (on the WEH) and 34 (on the EEH) in 2018. These figures have actually come down from 2017, when there were 75 and 53 deaths recorded on the WEH and EEH respectively.

According to a senior traffic police official, to analyse the issue, the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) had collaborated with Crash Analysis Unit in the past and they had concluded, bad roads have a direct relation to the number of road accidents and deaths in the city. A list of 30 black spots was drawn up and the WEH topped it, with the most number of accidents witnessed on the stretch from Dahisar (E) to Bandra (E). A senior traffic police officer, on request of confidentiality said, “If we analyse accidents in Mumbai, speeding and errors of judgment are the major contributors.

Also, the roads have many engineering shortcomings. Then there is the ongoing metro work, which has ensured that 20 per cent of the city roads dug up, to add to the existing woes of citizens. This means we can only ensure that accidents do not take place due to speeding or rash driving and we are working day and night to do so.” Last month, a cleaner died, while two students of St. Xavier’s School, Goregaon, were injured when their bus met with an accident on the WEH early morning on March 20. The bus rammed into the metro barricades on the stretch near NESCO and then grazed past them.

In February, a young couple died in an accident on the EEH in February, after a truck rammed into their two-wheeler. Their eight-year-old child miraculously survived but the truck driver fled the spot. Akshay Gupta, 35, was riding a Scooty, with wife Aarti, 33, and daughter riding pillion. Vikhroli Police said, the couple fell on the right side of the bike and got crushed under the truck’s tyre while the girl fell on the left side of the scooty. In June 2018, a police constable, Rajesh Chavan, attached to Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station was killed in a road rage accident when he was hit by a speeding four-wheeler coming from the opposite direction on the EEH. A case of rash driving was registered against the car driver.

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