Yamuna Expressway crashes unabated by cameras & speed limits

The latest accident on 27 January saw 1 killed, 9 injured in a multiple vehicle pile-up

A damaged vehicle on the smoggy Yamuna Expressway on 27 January 2024 (photo: IANS)
A damaged vehicle on the smoggy Yamuna Expressway on 27 January 2024 (photo: IANS)
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NH Digital

Despite installation of CCTV cameras and signboards displaying the speed limits along the Yamuna Expressway, there has been no reduction in the number of road accidents taking place on this highway in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida district.

Yet another head-on collision of multiple vehicles took place around 2 am on Saturday, 27 January, in which one person died and nine were injured, the police said.

Police said that about 30 km on the road from Noida to Agra, in the Jewar police station's jurisdiction, a bus hit a canter truck from behind, due to dense fog. Two other cars then collided with the bus.

The one person who was killed has been identified as Satya Prakash, a native of Koyla village in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah district. The police took the other nine injured victims to a nearby hospital, where they are undergoing treatment.

The damaged vehicles have been removed for the safety of other vehicles that continue to ply this route.

This latest incident is reminiscent of another accident that occurred on 27 December 2023, where 12 vehicles collided in dense fog.

To prevent accidents caused by fog and mist on the Yamuna Expressway, on 15 December, the speed limit had already been reduced from 100 km per hour to 75 km per hour.

The number of vehicles patrolling the Yamuna Expressway for motorists' safety is currently 12 instead of the six before the onset of winter; the number of cranes (to clear obstructions and tow vehicles) was increased from to 16 from eight; CCTV cameras to monitor service roads as well as the main highway have gone up from 42 to 106.

The reduced speed limits declared in December remain applicable for the winter, until 15 February.

On Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's orders on 2 December, there has been additional deployment of patrol vehicles, cranes and ambulances, doubling their numbers; 64 new cameras were to be installed as well in addition to new signage boards, thermoplastic paint and reflective lights on both sides of the road.

Reflective tape, patches and reflective signs along the road and fog lights at all toll plaza booths were the other safety measures to be implemented. However, most of the reflective tape on the Yamuna Expressway seems to still have very low visibility. The addition of fog lights near entry/exit points was expected to increase their efficacy.

An IIT Delhi survey, ordered to help prevent accidents on this highway, had pointed out the shortcomings to the Yamuna Expressway Authority, following which safety-related upgrades were initiated.

While the number of accidents has declined year on year since then, new data shared shows the number of accidents in 2023 (378 till November, with 89 deaths) has been higher than in 2022 (303 till end of year).

The earlier years had shown a declining or even trend: There had been 2,174 road accidents on the Yamuna Expressway over the last five years, in which 648 people lost their lives, while 4,612 people were injured. Of these, 2020 saw 509 road accidents, 122 lives lost and 1,015 injured while in 2021, road accidents decreased to 424, though 136 people lost their lives and 958 were injured.

Clearly, simply adding more patrols and support vehicles will not do the trick, and it remains for perhaps another survey or consultation to review arrangements on the highway itself

Based on IANS inputs

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