Mumbai: In a first of its kind initiative, the state highway police will penalise motorists for over-speeding on the Mumbai-Pune expressway based on the data generated at the toll nakas.
“The expressway has a speed limit of 50 km per hour in the ghats and 100 km per hour on the other stretches for cars. This will be used to calculate the distance from one toll naka to another and determine if a vehicle is over-speeding. For instance, if a car travels from the Talegaon toll plaza to the one at Khalapur in less than the average time, it is obvious that this is a case of the speed limit being breached,” said a senior highway police official.
The data from the system including the vehicle number and time stamps will be used to generate e-challans. “This system at the toll nakas will be integrated with the e-challans to generate them automatically. At present, we are testing the efficacy and accuracy of the system and will launch it in around three weeks,” he explained.
Those car users found to be over-speeding will be fined Rs 1,000 for the offence.
While the 94km Mumbai-Pune expressway, which was opened for traffic in 1999, has redefined road travel from Mumbai to Pune and beyond, it suffers from falling service levels due to rising traffic loads and lack of capacity expansion. Over-speeding, lack of lane discipline and overloading of commercial vehicles also lead to mishaps.
On an average, the high-speed, access control Mumbai-Pune Expressway sees around 54,000 to 60,000 vehicles (the numbers rise on holidays and weekends) use it daily, and goods transport vehicles account for around a tenth of this number.
The police official said that after the new system was rolled out on the Mumbai-Pune expressway in this pilot project, it would be extended to cover other highways as well in phases.
The highway police cover 17,350km of national and over 35,000km of state highways across Maharashtra. However, they have to contend with lack of adequate staff and vehicles, which affects patrolling and traffic discipline.