Pune: Errant drivers frequently cutting lanes while driving on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway are now under the radar of the Highway police. Cops have taken strict action against around 65,000 such drivers, who were involved in lane cutting incidents in the ghat sections.
The action was taken between January and December 2017 and the errant drivers have totally paid Rs 1.30 crore as fines. The action was taken against 29,000 vehicles in 2016. It has been observed by the Highway police that most of the accidents occurred due to lane cutting, overtaking vehicles from the wrong side and stopping at any place on the E-way. Such accidents, when they occur, cause traffic jams for hours.
“It is not possible to stop drivers on the Expressway as at most places, the traffic speed is 80 kmph, but the vehicles have to stop at the toll booths. So, we penalise them as soon as they exit the toll booth as it is easy to stop the vehicle then,” said an official from the Highway police.
“The Expressway has three lanes and divided according to the type of vehicles. As per the rule, the first lane (the one adjacent to the divider) is for overtaking. The second lane is for light vehicles and the third is for buses and other heavy vehicles. However, these rules are not often followed by vehicles,” he said.
“There is a possibility of an accident if the vehicle is overtaken from the wrong lane. Therefore, action has been taken against such vehicles for lane cutting. This action has reduced the number of accidents on the Expressway,” said Amol Tambe, Superintendent of Police, Highways. The campaign will continue in the coming days, he added.
How the drivers were fined
To curb the number of accidents on the Expressway, under the guidance of Additional Director General of Police, Maharashtra, an ‘Invisible Policing’ campaign was started in 2016.
Vehicles were monitored via CCTV cameras and plain clothes personnel were deployed on the E-way - which was divided into six sectors - to spot drivers who do not follow the speed limit or indulge in lane cutting.
These personnel informed the officials at toll plazas at Urse and Khalapur about vehicles flouting rules, where they were fined.