f you spot a daredevil on wheels zipping down one of the Capital’s many speedways with the Top Gun anthem ‘Highway To The Danger Zone’ blaring out of the stereo, perhaps consider it an omen.
The many highways and flyways crisscrossing the Delhi-NCR region have turned into “dead ends” for dozens of travellers in recent months.
Mail Today reported on May 28 about a speeding car crashing into a Harley-Davidson bike on the Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway, flinging the rider into the Yamuna. He has been missing since and is presumed dead.
In the last 17 months, Delhi traffic police has recorded 309 deaths on seven speedways in the region, with the maximum 86 fatalities on NH1 – better known as GT Karnal Road in the Capital. Besides, the department also registered 199 total accidents in the territory till Sonepat’s Kundli border.
Similarly, on Delhi-Jaipur highway (NH8) traffic police registered 96 accidents in the 15 kilometres from Dhaula Kuan to Sarhaul border in Gurugram. Here, 73 travellers lost their lives.
An officer said most of the accidents took place between Rao Tula Ram (RTR) flyover and Sarhaul border where there are four lanes on the main carriageway on either side, and two lanes on the service road.
The third-most fatal accident prone stretch is NH 10 connecting Delhi to Rohtak in Haryana. Traffic police registered 55 fatalities in 196 total crashes. Even the DND Flyway has witnessed 150 accidents including 20 major accidents where commuters badly injured after a crash and two of them lost their lives between April 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.
Dependra Pathak, special CP of Delhi (traffic), told Mail Today: “These wide stretches are constructed with the aim of giving smooth passage for commuters. The analysis of accidents suggests that speeding, zigzag driving, drunken driving are some of the major reasons for accidents. Loss of concentration during driving or distractions are others.”
Considering the fact that these stretches generally have a large volume of traffic in the day, Pathak pointed out that most of the crashes took place between midnight and 6 am.
We have deployed traffic police vans at accident-prone places on these stretches. Even interceptors are deployed at high-speed zones, but these tools cannot stop accidents until motorists understand following traffic manuals and guidelines while driving vehicles.
According to another traffic official, the first 10 minutes after an accident decide whether a victim would live or die and inadequate ambulance deployment round the clock is one of the major concerns for the department.
Delhi is surrounded by areas frequented by commuters like Gurugram, Sonepat, Noida and Ghaziabad where people also go to experience nightlife. Gurugram is connected with Delhi via NH8 has a large number of bars.
Similarly, the famous parathas of Murthal attract a number of west and outer Delhi residents. Some of them have lost their lives, falling victim to crashes often caused by drunken driving on NH1.
On January 7, five power-lifters – Saksham Yadav, 28, Tikam Chand alias Tinku, 27, Saurabh Kumar, 18, Yogesh alias Akash, 24, and Harish Roy, 20 – including an international-level athlete, were killed and another was critically injured after their car rammed a divider in the Alipur area on the NH1 near Delhi-Haryana border. They were speeding to Murthal to celebrate Rohit’s birthday. Some bottles of liquor and plastic glasses were recovered from the car.
The other national highways such as NH2, NH24 and NH58 have comparatively fewer accidents and fatalities than NH1, NH8 and NH10.
NH2 connecting Delhi to Faridabad and going on to Mathura has witnessed 127 accidents and 34 people lost their lives. Similarly, NH 24 connecting Delhi to Ghaziabad and Meerut had 73 accidents and 30 fatalities in the last 17 months. NH58 connecting Ghaziabad and going further towards Muzaffarnagar and Haridwar had 106 accidents and 29 fatalities in the 17 months.