GURUGRAM: Road safety experts have suggested that implementing speed-calming measures and segregating lanes may provide a solution to the growing number of accidents inside the city’s underpasses, most of which, they say, take place due to vehicles travelling at high speeds.
On Saturday morning, a motorcyclist was killed and the pillion rider was injured in an accident inside the DLF Phase-1 underpass, after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding multiutility vehicle (MUV) from behind, said the police.
A case in this regard has been registered at the Sushant Lok police station. A copy of the FIR, which is in possession with Hindustan Times, states that the accident took place at the carriageway around 5.45 am. The driver of the MUV abandoned his vehicle and fled the spot. The victims were rushed to Paras Hospital, where the motorcyclist Harish, a resident of Rohini, New Delhi, was declared dead on arrival. This is not an isolated incident. As per traffic police officials, there have been four fatalities over the past 12 months.
Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is responsible for looking after the underpasses on the Golf Course Road-cyber City stretch, while the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is responsible for those on the Delhi-gurgaon Expressway.
Sewa Ram, an urban transport systems design expert and a faculty member at the School of Planning and Architecture, said that he voiced his concerns regarding high speed vehicles with GMDA officials during a meeting on Monday and suggested some engineering changes.
“I met GMDA officials and informed them about my concerns regarding high speed driving, in the context of Saturday’s accident. I advised them that one of the reasons for frequent accidents inside the city’s underpasses is due to the mixing of highand low-speed traffic. In most cases, two wheelers and three wheelers travel at a far lower speed than four-wheel vehicles. This leads to collisions. As a long-term solution to the crisis, I suggested segregating the traffic into different lanes, one for high speed vehicles and the other for low-speed ones,” said Sewa Ram.
Sarika Panda Bhatt, program coordinator for Haryana Vision Zero — a government initiative to achieve zero fatality on roads — said that in several road safety meetings, the issue of speeding of vehicles in underpasses have been discussed, and experts have suggested introduction of rumble strips inside the city’s underpasses as speed calming measures. However, the same is yet to be followed.
Rumble strips cause a rumbling sound when vehicles pass over it to warn drivers of an approaching crossing, a junction or a high-speed corridor to reduce chances of collisions.
“On several road safety meetings, experts have suggested installing rumble strips after every 100 metres inside the underpasses to alert drivers of high accident zones or approaching crossings as the solution to reduce accidents. However, despite the suggestion, authorities are yet to enforce this on the ground. Additionally, a road safety audit of Golf Course Road needs to be also carried out, as the traffic volume and movement have changed drastically over time,” said Bhatt.
MD Sinha, additional chief executive officer of GMDA, said that the Golf Course Road-cyber City stretch is meant to be a highspeed corridor, and a reduction in speed will only lead to heavy snarls. Sinha however said that the GMDA’S project of installing around 5000 CCTV cameras at major crossings and junctions will prove to be a major deterrent to ‘reckless’ driving.
“The GMDA is undertaking a major project of installing CCTV cameras. The project is under way and will be completed within the next six months,” said Sinha. Ashok Sharma, project director of NHAI, did not respond to texts and calls.