The Highway Safety Patrol (HSP) has been penalising, on an average, 200-300 vehicle users every day for speeding along the 91km Pune-Mumbai expressway ever since the Union and state governments relaxed the lockdown on June 1.
Most of the vehicles found speeding are four-wheelers.
HSP officials said they have issued e-challans to over 16,000 vehicles for a variety of violations, from speeding to lane indiscipline, along the expressway between June 1 and 24.
HSP police inspector (Panvel division) Sudam Pachorkar said the department was extensively using e-challan machines and interceptor vehicles to crack down on motorists violating the expressway rules.
“As many as 50 accidents have occurred on the expressway so far this month. The traffic volume is less than usual now and many cars can be seen violating the 100km per hour speed limit. We are issuing 200-300 e-challans for speeding every day,” he said.
“Though most of the speeding cases involved cars, trucks have been mostly penalised for lane indiscipline. Dedicated lanes have been allotted for different categories of vehicles. The first lane along the median is for overtaking, the middle one is for cars and passenger vehicles and the last one for trucks. But trucks often occupy the first or second lane, which slows down other vehicles or leads to congestion. Most of the lane indiscipline cases were in the Bor ghat section of the expressway,” Pachorkar said.
Traffic along the expressway has increased since the beginning of June. “From March-end to the beginning of June, the traffic volume was down to less than 10% of what it was before the lockdown. At the end of June, the traffic of cars and other passenger vehicles is about 60% of the volume during the pre-lockdown time. Movement of heavy vehicles has also increased,” he said.
The HSP earlier had a limited number of speed guns, which were set up manually at strategic points to catch violations. “We now have more speed guns. Besides, the interceptor vehicles are fitted with speed guns. This makes it possible for us to catch more violators,” Pachorkar said.
The HSP had started using the interceptor vehicles in November last year and issued 1,200 e-challans over a period of 10 days.Source: Economic Times