More fatalities on city roads than on highway stretchesNews — By The Desk on February 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Times Of India:As many as 1,677 people died in accidents on roads in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad between 2006 and 2011, statistics compiled by the traffic police have revealed. As against this, the fatalities on the highway stretches passing through Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad were around half the number at 835.
In fact, of the total number of accidents over the five-year period, 66% were on city roads.
The six highway stretches that run through Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad are on the Bangalore-Mumbai, Pune-Mumbai, Pune-Solapur, Pune-Satara, Pune-Nashik and Pune-Ahmednagar roads. Over the last 10 years, the city limits have increased and most of the development has taken place along the highway stretches.
Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said that roads in the city should have all the necessary features that would make them safe for different types of road users. “There are several reasons for accidents. Public awareness about road safety is needed. The number of vehicles has also risen tremendously. On the other hand, there are limitations to enforcing traffic discipline because of limited manpower,” he said.
Road safety activist Chandmal Parmar said the municipal corporations should build proper footpaths and take measures to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. However, he pointed out that vehicles fail to follow traffic rules on the highway stretches too.
“Speed restriction boards should be prominently displayed on these stretches,” he felt. A citizen, Geo Thomas, said he has been riding a two-wheeler for the last 15 years and has seen a number of accidents taking place only because traffic rules were not followed. “Traffic rules need to be followed strictly.
The fine amount should be substantially increased so as to discourage people from breaking rules,” he said. Traffic police officials said the increasing number of two-wheelers on city roads was one of the main reasons for the rising number of accidents. The police will soon be making helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders. Last year, as many as 215 people lost their lives as they were not wearing helmets, the police said. Statistics for Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad show that there are over 31.41 lakh vehicles registered with the two regional transport offices. Of these, over 23.39 lakh vehicles are two-wheelers.