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Road Crash Deaths In Mum Drop 24% In 1 Yr, Ministers Push For Curbs On Trucks, ET Infra


MUMBAI: Fatalities from road crashes in 2023 in Maharashtra dropped from 15,224 in 2022 to 15,009 in 2023—registering a 1.4% decline—minister Dadaji Bhuse said on Monday. Mumbai saw the highest such dip—24%—in the state from 371 deaths in 2022 to 283 in 2023, followed by Chandrapur (20%) and Navi Mumbai (18%).

The number of crashes, however, rose from 33,383 in 2022 to 34,114 in 2023.

Deaths in the years prior to 2022, barring the pandemic, saw a rise of 8-14%.

Bhuse, who launched Road Safety Month for Maharashtra on Monday, said regional transport offices (RTOs) and traffic police could reduce fatalities by another 10% by enforcing strict road discipline. “During this month, RTO and police should make efforts to ensure that heavy vehicles, such as trucks and buses, stay off the rightmost lanes on highways/expressways. If all vehicles start plying in their designated lanes and there is no illegal overtaking or lane cutting, fatalities will certainly dip by 50%,” he said, adding that there should be zero-fatality corridors in future.

He lauded enforcement agencies for bringing down fatalities on Pune Expressway by 32% in a year, and said CM Eknath Shinde had disbursed a fund of Rs 450 crore across all districts for road safety and to fix mishap-prone spots.

Mumbai guardian minister Deepak Kesarkar asked the RTOs to ensure that trucks are not allowed on the right lane. He suggested various stops for breaks for drivers and motorists on Samruddhi Mahamarg to allow them adequate rest and prevent fatigue-induced crashes. He asked RTOs and police to take measures for pedestrian safety, besides controlling air and sound pollution, and curbing vehicles illegally fitted with bright lights.

Transport commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar said the aim is to reduce deaths by 50% in the state in five years. “It is not possible for 24X7 checks. Electronic surveillance is a must on highways. On expressways, we counselled 1 lakh speeding motorists in 2023, instead of levying fines.”

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