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Mumbai-Pune highway deaths driven down 55%, Infra News, ET Infra

MUMBAI: The ongoing six-month drive to book traffic offenders on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the old Mumbai-Pune highway has yielded results, said transport commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar on Tuesday.

Fatalities on both highways dropped by 55% while the number of fatal crashes came down by 33% in January and February as compared to the same period last year. Grievous injuries on both highways have dropped by 46%.

Also, over 22,000 violators have been booked in the last three months for various offences, including over 5,000 motorists for speeding over 100 kmph and nearly 4,000 each for lane cutting and driving without seatbelt. “More than 30,000 citizens, mainly those booked for speeding, have been counselled on road safety and this has reduced crashes on Expressway. I believe if you make a little effort, there can be a big impact. We have carried out this drive independently without associating with any other enforcement agency,” Bhimanwar said.

The drive commenced from December 1 and will continue till May end. Among other cases registered were 1,486 of wrong side parking, 363 of using mobile phones while driving and 666 of not having proper driving licence.

The RTO also caught 688 drivers for not having valid insurance for vehicles, 513 persons for driving vehicles with registration numbers not clearly visible, 114 for illegally using private vehicles for public transport, 216 persons for driving without permit, 119 bus operators for carrying cargo goods atop buses, and 5,009 persons for other offences.

“Our achievement has been the reduction in fatalities from 31 deaths in 2022 to 14 deaths this year. The fatality rate will drop further as our campaign continues,” said deputy transport commissioner (road safety) Bharat Kalaskar. “The ongoing RTO campaign has resulted in rightmost lanes being free for cars and SUVs.”

Various RTO patrol teams have removed hawkers and roadside temporary carts near the ghat section on the old Mumbai-Pune highway as they posed road safety risks. These vendors stood on the roadside close to the ghats from where tourists could get a good view of the valley and scenic surroundings.

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