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Old 28th May 2012, 19:35   #11206
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
If you run into something stationary that you didn't see, it is your fault.

Thad,

That's a little unfair. I have travelled on the expressway in question numerous times but only a handful of times after dark. There is a reason for this: most of the trucks/buses/commercial vehicles operate without functioning rear lights. I usually ask my wife in the passenger seat to keep her eyes peeled and scream at the slightest hint of danger. Despite this (and me on full alert) there have been a few episodes where I braked a little too late for my comfort. And this is when I was within the speed limit.

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Yes, there are things that a broken down vehicle should do, especially if it is obstructing the highway...
As per news reports, most of the deceased were sitting on the road between the two halted vehicles, which were presumably not completely on the shoulder but partly or wholly in the left lane. Stopping is prohibited on the Mumbai-Pune e-way. In an emergency of course it cannot be helped but what possessed those poor souls to sit ON THE ROAD? It's inexplicable and shows what value they attached to safety.

My point is: it's easy to pin the responsibility of an accident on the driver, and from all accounts, that has happened here as well (LCV driver already taken into custody, probably being thrashed as we speak?) But if we are serious about reducing road fatalities, EVERYBODY who uses the road needs to own up to their share of responsibility for keeping it safe.

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This sort of shocking incident is not an accident, it is a massacre.
The LCV driver should have been more careful, agreed, but there is no call for such a reaction. Am sure he is suffering enough without being labelled a cold-blooded killer.
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Old 28th May 2012, 20:50   #11207
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

Yes, you are right. The main thing is that everything you say about your own methods shows that you begin with an assumption of danger.

When everyone thinks like that, these accidents will become few. Not zero, ever, because there is no country in the world that has perfect humans/drivers, with 100% attention on the right thing 100% of the time: it is probably not possible.
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Originally Posted by benbsb29
In a country where there is no semblance of road sense, where all vehicles are engrossed in a battle of 'lights' supremacy, and disdain for the safety of fellow road users, i do not think it is fair to blame someone if he does not see something unmarked on the road.
Don't you think that is the very reason why we should blame those people?

(when I talk like this, please don't suppose that I think that my driving is perfect: far from it. All we can do is state the perfect, and then try)
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Old 28th May 2012, 23:36   #11208
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

Of late, most of the accidents that happen during the night on the GQz or the four laned highways is someone rear ending a parked truck.

In most cases it does seem that the parked truck is not illuminated for vehicles traveling behind him to notice the parked truck.

Maybe we are over looking something else, even if the trucker had his park/position lights on, I think it would be very difficult to judge if that truck is moving or stationary from a distance since most of the NH/GQ sectors have been designed with minimum curves or gradients.

This is easier during the daytime because, the visibility is much greater and the drivers will have better judgement.

Exactly the same reason many accidents happen at unmanned railway crossings, it is difficult to judge the speed of a moving object if one is directly in the line of its path. Well for most of us I would say.

I am more comfortable doing night drives on state highways at a much slower speed than the recent four lane highways.

Parked trucks should have flashers on! A little optimistic in our country since most heavy vehicles do not have functioning brake lights!

Last edited by YaeJay : 28th May 2012 at 23:43. Reason: ST highways.
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Old 29th May 2012, 07:47   #11209
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poor maintenance, overloading. enough to block office goers' road.

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just now on NICE road on bhannerughatta entry towards EC
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:34   #11210
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
26 killed in road accident on Mumbai-Pune expressway

26 killed in road accident on Mumbai-Pune expressway

I understand that this is already post in the forum, but still I have a point a make here.

Though it is easy to blame the Tempo Driver who crashed the Stationery buses, but the accident happend at 1 am in night. It is possible that the Tempo Driver could not see the stationery buses. may be possible that the Bus Driver was not having hazard reflector which can be placed if your Vehicle Breaks down.

Thus it is very important to immediately place the emergengy light & hazard reflector in road, as soon you stop on highway, especially at night.

Thanks,
@Jignesh :
As per today's paper the tempo driver probably dozed off as he hit the people sitting on the guard rail and the buses were in the service lane.

If that is the case then the tempo driver is at fault. Why drive when your body clearly signals that it needs rest.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:34   #11211
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
That's a little unfair. Despite this (and me on full alert) there have been a few episodes where I braked a little too late for my comfort. And this is when I was within the speed limit.

The LCV driver should have been more careful, agreed, but there is no call for such a reaction. Am sure he is suffering enough without being labelled a cold-blooded killer.
I am not sure noopster, what are you defending here and why ?
I have gone through the news item, and it clearly says that after one of the minibus had a flat, it was shifted to the service lane, and all the other vehicles in the convoy, joined the first one, by parking behind each other in the service lane.
The passengers, were standing and sitting between the two vehicle and also between the vehicle and the highway crash guard.
I am not sure why are you assuming that people were on the left lane and the vehicles were parked haphazardly?
But let's accept the fact that the truck driver who crashed had no business driving in such a high speed that he couldn't control the vehicle or stop in time, that too hitting the vehicles parked in the service lane.
The impact of the crash wouldn't have been so huge if he had been driving under limits.

We are also aware how unsafe our highways are, that truck/buses,e tc don't have proper functioning lights, therefore when driving at night, we should be more careful and take extra precautions like upgrading our lights or driving even slower than the speed limit, if the visibility is a concern. All this would gives us extra reaction time.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:59   #11212
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There is no service lane in the Pune-Bombay expressway and parking anywhere is strictly prohibited, except near the toll gates and at the food plazas.

There are only 3 lanes either way and each of them is full of speeding vehicles, with no room to allow any vehicle to be parked on the side of the road.

The newspaper reported that the parked vehicles did not even have their parking lights on, and the IRB patrol had to instruct them to put on the parking lights, so you can guess at the level of care that the parked vehicles took.

Typically, when vehicles break down, the passengers are in the habit of swarming all round, including spilling over to the adjoining lanes, which could have happened this time also, confusing the truck driver who hit into them.

The pace of traffic is so high that the truck driver may not have seen these guys parked there till too late and may not have had the space to swerve to the next right-hand lane.

We still do not know whether the vehicles were parked round a curve which would have impeded visibility for the their vehicles coming behind.

The point one must note is that the newspapers reported a tyre burst and not a puncture, one of a long list of vehicles having suffered tyre bursts in the expressway, typically due to poor tyre care, especially in hired/commercial vehicles
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:21   #11213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar
There is no service lane in the Pune-Bombay expressway and parking anywhere is strictly prohibited, except near the toll gates and at the food plazas.
If this is true, it is a design failure as all high speed corridors must have an emergency lane precisely for such eventualities. If there is nowhere to stop, what should one do if one does have a flat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar
Typically, when vehicles break down, the passengers are in the habit of swarming all round, including spilling over to the adjoining lanes, which could have happened this time also, confusing the truck driver who hit into them.
In this case there was neither any swarming, nor spilling into the adjoining lanes. They were killed because they were in between the two buses, which were in the left-most lane. This lane is for the slowest traffic, so it would make sense for the truck to be in that lane if it were slow in the first place.

I agree with you generally that the truck driver shouldn't be labelled a murderer. However this is definitely a case of irresponsible driving which caused devastation. Many of us also don't think twice about maintaining high speeds on highways, and there was till recently a thread here as well, extolling the abilities of some gifted souls who could drive fast without being any danger to anyone else on the road. Well, this accident proves otherwise.

There are possibly other points of failure. One that I can see is driving fast in the wrong lane. It should be one or the other - fast or left lane. Another is the lack of an emergency lane. Then who knows if there were slow moving vehicles in the middle and right lanes, and the truck was overtaking them from the left. This would also be a violation by multiple parties that could have caused this accident.

IMHO the combination of lack of road sense, lack of proper license tests, and poor infrastructure is the source of this accident. The truck driver is a product of the system, with a definite share of the blame, but not all of it.

Last edited by VeluM : 29th May 2012 at 12:24.
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:27   #11214
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Default re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
There is no service lane in the Pune-Bombay expressway and parking anywhere is strictly prohibited, except near the toll gates
Off topic but I guess this is where the next big massacre will happen on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Towards Mumbai, after the toll booths, near the toliets. I do this stretch almost twice in a month. Most of the times have seen too many vehicles parked right till the 3rd lane, leaving only 2 lanes for moving traffic. People also spill out on the roads. This is more scary in peak time as 6-7 toll booths are open and vehicles try to merge into 2 lanes after that.
I called the emergency numbers once to let them know. The police said they will take care of it. But situation has not improved.
They should relocate these toilets away from the main road to avoid any mishap.
But I think this will happen only after a massacre happens.
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:56   #11215
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
There is no service lane in the Pune-Bombay expressway and parking anywhere is strictly prohibited, except near the toll gates and at the food plazas.
There should have been a service lane planned at every x kms for such emergencies.

And does anyone know where the nearest hospital is? On the Pune side it is at Pradhikaran and it would take about 30 mins to get there from the toll booth after a vehicle is available. The critical first hour is lost then an there. How difficult would it be to build a well equipped accident hospital somewhere near Kamshet/ Khopoli?

All the indicators are there to be seen. regular accidents every week with 2-3 casualties and now a major mishap with 27 casualties.

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Originally Posted by Parry1410 View Post
If that is the case then the tempo driver is at fault. Why drive when your body clearly signals that it needs rest.
Where is the space for anyone to pullover and rest? there are only 3 lanes of unrestricted mayhem and now laybys (or whatever they are called) for drivers to pull over and rest. The only such space available is at the food plaza and thats a separate parking mess altogether.
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Old 29th May 2012, 13:29   #11216
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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
There should have been a service lane planned at every x kms for such emergencies.
Exactly my thoughts.

During my Jaipur - Bangalore trip last time, I made a mistake by entering this expressway during wee hours. Mine was a non stop drive from Jaipur and felt too tired since it was raining heavily from Vapi onwards. I was tired and forced to drive till Pune through heavy rain and traffic since I couldn't find a safe place to stop.
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Old 29th May 2012, 13:33   #11217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
If this is true, it is a design failure as all high speed corridors must have an emergency lane precisely for such eventualities. If there is nowhere to stop, what should one do if one does have a flat?
This expressway is woefully short of any safety standards even when you compare it with, say, NH4 in Karnataka approaching Belgaum, where there are properly demarcated parking bays, toilets, and a continuous service road. This was not built to NHAi specs, but to whatever MSRDC thought was appropriate!


Quote:
In this case there was neither any swarming, nor spilling into the adjoining lanes. They were killed because they were in between the two buses, which were in the left-most lane. This lane is for the slowest traffic, so it would make sense for the truck to be in that lane if it were slow in the first place.
All newspapers report the same story, virtually the same words, mouthed in some press release, and not any original reporting. The truth about the accident may never be known. Typically, I have encountered so many such break-downs, they have always seen the passengers all over the place, regardless of the fact that there are vehicles all around them.

Quote:
I agree with you generally that the truck driver shouldn't be labelled a murderer. However this is definitely a case of irresponsible driving which caused devastation. Many of us also don't think twice about maintaining high speeds on highways, and there was till recently a thread here as well, extolling the abilities of some gifted souls who could drive fast without being any danger to anyone else on the road. Well, this accident proves otherwise.
During peak hours, the flow and velocity of traffic is so high that it is a wonder that there are so little accidents! I can imagine a truck coming round a corner, suddenly seeing this small "party" just ahead of him, trying to change lanes, not finding the gap and crashing into these vehicles.

Did the parked vehicles display the warning triangle behind them to warn oncoming vehicles of a break down?
Were they flashing their hazard lights?

The Pune expressway is simply too small to take the traffic load and on many occasions, we have just missed having major accidents because of such break downs & bad parking. The fact that the IRB patrol cars also went by and did not think that the vehicles were parked unsafely reflects the attitude of the operators of the toll road. Good administration & regulation will have risk mitigation strategies. Why should 2-3 vehicles cluster around 1 broken-down vehicle in a no-parking zone? Is the expressway a "snacking" zone?




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Originally Posted by bigwheelz View Post
Off topic but I guess this is where the next big massacre will happen on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Towards Mumbai, after the toll booths, near the toliets. I do this stretch almost twice in a month. Most of the times have seen too many vehicles parked right till the 3rd lane, leaving only 2 lanes for moving traffic. People also spill out on the roads. This is more scary in peak time as 6-7 toll booths are open and vehicles try to merge into 2 lanes after that.
I called the emergency numbers once to let them know. The police said they will take care of it. But situation has not improved.
They should relocate these toilets away from the main road to avoid any mishap.
But I think this will happen only after a massacre happens.
I agree entirely, the way the vehicles are parked haphazardly ahead of the toll gates has most of us dodging people & vehicles to get away!
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Old 29th May 2012, 14:39   #11218
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Originally Posted by Parry1410 View Post
@Jignesh :
As per today's paper the tempo driver probably dozed off as he hit the people sitting on the guard rail and the buses were in the service lane.
If that is the case then the tempo driver is at fault. Why drive when your body clearly signals that it needs rest.
Hello Parry,

Firstly let us be clear that there is no service lane on Mumbai-Pune Expressway which is already clarified by H V Kumar & others above.

Secondly how come newspapers know that Tempo Drive probably dozed off. Try to understand, along with pictures & facts they have to write a story, which is what they are expert at.

I am not trying to prove that Tempo Driver was not at fault, I am just try to point out another angle to this, which may be usefull to all of us.

None of us (including newspapers) know that whether the stationery Buses had put on the hazard indicator lights? Also did the bus driver / cleaners put the Triangle Hazard Reflector on the road, to warn the oncoming vehicles? I am sure they will not know of anything like this.

Thanks,
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:07   #11219
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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
There should have been a service lane planned at every x kms for such emergencies.
Service lanes are for offloading local traffic. I think you meant Shoulders. The MPEW has Shoulders (half a lane on each side) throughout except in the actual climb/descent stretches, if I recall correctly.

Edit: Just checked on Google Maps - seems like there is a full lane for shoulder, at least towards Pune.

Last edited by binand : 29th May 2012 at 16:12.
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:27   #11220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
Service lanes are for offloading local traffic. I think you meant Shoulders. The MPEW has Shoulders (half a lane on each side) throughout except in the actual climb/descent stretches, if I recall correctly.

Edit: Just checked on Google Maps - seems like there is a full lane for shoulder, at least towards Pune.
Yes, Shoulders exits on both side of the Expressway except for a few locations in the Ghats where even the regular lane become narrower compared to normal.

The worst thing I have notice on the MPEW are the jokers on a sight seeing trip, happily parking their swanky cars on the shoulders and taking photographs never realizing the danger that lurks around them and other travelers.

Essentially, you are not supposed to stop on the entire stretch of the Expressway at all but you are most likely to encounter so many people having a gala time including the cops near Amrutanjan Bridge who flag down vehicles in the name of checking documents and overloading completely oblivious to the fact that there are others who are creating a fresh recipe for an accident a few kilometers away.

On top of this, regular Mumbai-Pune buses (NEETA, KONDUSKAR 'et al) stop on the Expressway at various points (Police Station, Beginning/end of Lonavala Entry/Exit Ramp) to alight and board passengers who also wait on the railings of the expressway.

Last edited by paragsachania : 29th May 2012 at 16:35.
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