Lonavala, 22nd January 2024: The Highway Safety Patrol’s Pune unit reported a nearly 4% decrease in speeding cases on the 54km Pune-Mumbai Expressway stretch from Kiwale exit to Amrutanjan Point in 2023 compared to the previous year. However, officials attribute this decline to the use of illegal cellphone applications by motorists, allowing them to evade speed cameras, interceptor vehicles, and roadblocks initiated for repair works.
Lata Phad, Superintendent of Police, Highway Safety Patrol, Pune, explained, “There are numerous illegal applications that reveal the locations of speed CCTV cameras and interceptor vehicles on the roads. Motorists use these applications to slow down when approaching these spots to adhere to the speed limits, set at 80kmph on the expressway.”
She further noted, “Some applications even indicate which cameras are non-functional. Despite our efforts to change the location of interceptor vehicles, this information is unfortunately reflected in these applications as well.”
Phad pointed out another contributing factor to the decrease in speeding cases, stating, “Blocks undertaken by the Maharashtra State Road Development Authority (MSRDC) for repair works on the expressway also played a role.”
In 2023, the HSP recorded 148,939 cases of speed violations, a decrease from the 154,655 cases reported in 2022. A fine of Rs1,000 is imposed on vehicles violating the speed limits.
Expressing concern, safety experts emphasized the importance of motorists adhering to rules rather than resorting to illicit applications to avoid fines. They stressed that following the rules would be in the interest of both individual and collective safety.
Despite the decline in speeding cases, accidents on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway resulted in 26 fatalities in 2023, down marginally from the 28 recorded in 2022 on the stretch from Kiwale exit to Amrutanjan Point.
A senior MSRDC officer assured the public of their commitment to road safety, stating, “We have installed two functional speed CCTV cameras on the stretch between Kiwale exit and Amrutanjan bridge. HSP officials monitor these cameras, issuing fines for any recorded speed violations. Additionally, plans are in place to install more speed cameras on the expressway soon.”