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Don’t speed, Mumbai traffic police want you to ‘slow down’

In another attempt to reduce accidents, the Mumbai traffic police have started project Slow Down – a survey of 20 ‘black spots’ across the city during different hours of the day to look at the reasons behind speeding and ways to curb it.

According to traffic police, the number of black spots or accident-prone spots on highways has increased to 58 from 39 after the city witnessed 466 deaths in accidents in 2017. “We have added new spots, where more than five people have died in the past three years in one or different accidents, to the existing list,” said Shahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).

The project, initiated by NGO United Way Mumbai and IIT-Bombay, was kick-started on Thursday from Ramabai Nagar on the eastern express highway (EEH), which witnesses at least one accident every month. It is being carried out on three spots on the highway. “Slow Down aims to curb speeding among motorists at particular spots,” said Ajay Govale, director, community impact, United Way Mumbai. “We want to suggest and help in enforcement of speed-control measures.”

Equipped with speed guns, IIT-Bombay students will observe speeds of different vehicles from 10.30am to 10.30pm to understand why drivers speed at these spots.

The study will be carried out on two days on weekdays and weekends.

Traffic police data show that of the 58, 42 black spots are in the eastern suburbs. Officials said on the 23.55-km eastern express highway (EEH), which connects Thane to south Mumbai, accidents mostly occur owing to speeding motorists and engineering defects of the road.

The western express highway and eastern express highway were the highest risk locations in Mumbai in 2018, with 52 and 34 deaths, respectively. In 2017, there were 75 deaths on the WEH and 53 on the EEH from road crashes owing to speeding. In 2018, the third most risky location was Swami Vivekanand Road (SV Road) with 16 deaths.

“This is a pilot project undertaken to rectify the shortcomings and make the black spots disappear,” said a traffic police officer.

Govale said the baseline will help them decide the plan of action. “We have already mobilised neighbourhood citizen groups who will be trained and empowered to advocate the recommended changes, besides action such as installation of signboards by the traffic police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),” said Govale.

First Published:
Jul 19, 2019 01:30 IST

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