The Mumbai-Pune Expressway Zero Fatality Corridor project which was started by the SaveLIFE Foundation, Mahindra and Mahindra, MSRDC as well as Maharashtra Police now has statistics to back the initiative. Started with the aim to reduce fatalities on the Mumbai-Pune expressway due to overspeeding, blind spots and the other related issues, we have now come to know that as much as 52 per cent of the road accident-related deaths were reduced. The stretch had witnessed a 43 per cent reduction in road crash fatalities from 151 fatalities in 2016 to 86 fatalities until 31st December 2019. In the year 2020, the expressway reported 66 fatalities in 63 crashes. In 2020, due to the pandemic, many road users were at home and hence the lower number of crashes. This is precisely why the overall number is not 56 per cent but 52. M&M contributed to the funds required for this project whereas SaveLIFE foundation conceptualised the entire project. They were assisted in their efforts by the Maharashtra police.
To ensure the lower number of fatalities, speed-traps were laid on the Mumbai corridor due to which 46,563 challans were issued between July 28, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Motorists were also warned of the speed limit after which the speed-traps were set. The vehicles that were parked or stalled on the eway were also barricaded from behind to ensure that a rear collision doesn’t happen. Tactile edge lines were drawn for 150km to ensure fatigue-based crashes don’t happen. Emergency crew was also specially trained to ensure that timely medical help is provided to those injured. 14 fatal crashes were reported wherein someone alighted a vehicle on the eway and was hit by another speeding car. 30 rear end collisions were reported and these were fatal too. Speeding was detected as the major source of accidents with as many as 21 of them being fatal. This was the report for 2020.
In 2021, the aforementioned Tactile edge lines will be extended. Treatment of the 35km chainage on the Mumbai corridor will also be done. Distracted driver detection through AI will also be enforced. Intensive patrolling to present rear-end collisions will also be put into place.
Chandrakant Pulkundwar, Joint Managing Director, MSRDC said, “Every fatality on the expressway is a matter of grave concern for us. Though COVID made things tougher with excessive burdens on emergency services, we will not rest till we get to zero preventable deaths on this crucial link between Mumbai and Pune”.
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