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SH17 - road of death, need highway patrol

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Bangalore Mysore HighwayA few deaths on Bellary Road, and it got so much attention. By the way, police's efforts to enforce are working, I hear that a good number of cabs keep themselves to 80 kmph, and drivers either buckle up or think about putting on seat belts on Nh7. So perhaps, the fear of punishment does work. Now, how about the Bangalore Mysore highway?

First of all, its foolish to build high speed roads that are not access controlled in whatever way, limited or full fledged. That road is literally hell right now, with death awaiting at about 50-60 points along the 100 odd km length.

These would be the new speed humps popping up near the towns now, every cut in the median in small villages, every curve where adventurous drivers don't realize the risks of overtaking, every town where lack of service roads make bikes and autos drive on the wrong side.

If you don't think this well enough, you'd be tempted to blame the pedestrians, the bullock carts, and the bikers who show up on the wrong side. But think a bit. Isn't it a crime to convert a two lane highway into a speedway thus dividing the small towns and villages into two? No service roads, no access control - its like you caught them unprepared. Yeah, they will learn to live with it, but how many deaths will that learning take, we wouldn't like to count.

If I were to 'upgrade' a long standing two lane highway to a 4 or 6 lane speedway, I'd think bypasses. Not that SH17 upgrade didn't make new bypasses. But what's the point in building a high speed bypass without access control - you are only encouraging humanity to move and re-settle near a road.

More than access control, what hurts is no visible upgrade to policing setup. Its time to setup a dedicated highway patrol unit at state level. Their job would be to watch for the dance of death on these upgraded roads and control it.

I am told that accidents have gone up four to six times (yes, 400 to 600% rise!) on SH17 after the upgrade work was completed to make it high speed road. I have seen one fatal accident (and a few non fatal ones) myself, and police constable (at Mandya) was simply not interested in taking a report of what we saw. We ended up chasing the 'killer' Innova on our own, but couldn't keep up.

Its time for a State Highway Patrol, please.. Give us an elite unit with good drivers, good interceptor vehicles, radar guns, and a tough approach. NOW!


silkboard's picture

about that picture

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The zen overtook us from left, doing about 95 kmph (10-15 over my 80). about a second before it won the battle of egos (so what if I have a smaller car, I got more speed), a scooterist appeared on the wrong side. One swerve, and an accident was averted. This wasn't that bad though, you'd see lot worse "close calls" than this one.
Vasanth's picture

Safer to travel in Buses

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It is always safer to travel in Buses therefore to Mysore. Bus accidents have reduced or almost nil after 4 lane. We are saved if we are in Bus. Only a Bus to Bus or Bus to Truck accident is fatal for a bus traveller. Accidents are usually Car related. It gets tempted to drive if we travel by Bus after seeing the 'zooming' cars passing the bus, but at the cost of fatality to save at the maximum hour. Even normal buses which travels at 60-70 odd kmph covers the distance in 3 hours. Every minute there is a bus to Mysore now with Volvos nearly every half an hour. One can park their car in satellite bus stand with 30 rupees per day and take the bus or 2 wheeler at Rs.25 per day and take the bus.

It was safer before the 4 laning since most of the people were travelling in train even though it is crowded. Because of the 4 laning and 'CAR' era, scenario changed and people are loosing precious life and taking away precious lives without any reason.

I used to travel by bike before 4 laning days. Very rarely we were seeing vehicles, that too mostly buses or trucks. Now, it is highly dangerous especially to go on 2 wheeler on the road.

Most of the fatality happens in the 'U' turn. One of our relative passed away when a truck came reverse in a 'U' turn when the driver expected that the truck would go forward and tried to pass it behind the truck, whereas the truck came reverse.

bialterminal's picture

silkboard, [quote]First of

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First of all, its foolish to build high speed roads that are not access controlled in whatever way, limited or full fledged. That road is literally hell right now, with death awaiting at about 50-60 points along the 100 odd km length.
Foolish is an understatement, mysore road is not any less. Combining such bad highway design with recless driving, it is a virtually a death trap. I saw innumerable cases of wrong side driving on Mysore road. In that photo of yours, that scooter guy must be crazy and probably smoking crack to be driving on the wrong side endangering everybody incuding his pillion rider.
Vasanth's picture

Scooters are OK, Trucks and Tractors on Wrong Side!!

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Scooters atleast go on the side of the road. Trucks, Tractors and even sometime cars come on the wrong side when you are at 100 kph just to avoid the U turn. We badly need devices like tire busters to those who come on the wrong side. I hope it improves atleast in NICE road.
silkboard's picture

Bachchegowda incident ...

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Refer to recent road rage incident involving a minister. (

Road rage is on the rise, and so would be the death counts on our fast improving highways. Patroling highways requires a different approach than than standing under a tree and waiving hands to stop erring drivers. Its time state did something to save lives that easily be saved with simple efforts to control drivers on highways.

blrpraj's picture

a different mindet required

104 users have liked.

Using high speed roadways requires an alltogether mindset and very high discipline by the users. Both of these are sadly not there.

Why did the designers not come up with proper service roads and access controls in the first place? Why wasn't cross connectivity provided at regular intervals for local traffic wanting to cross the roadway?

And how in their right mind come up with U turn concept on a high speed highway?


Vasanth's picture

Weekends worst

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Weekends, especially Sunday evenings, it becomes like a Ring Road. Too many cars racing against each other in Bangalore direction. Accidents are more on the weekends.

Before 4 laning, people used to take train leaving Mysore at 6PM. Even now train exists and crowded due to so many Mysoreans working in Bangalore and travelling to Mysore on weekends. If Railways could run additional trains, something like a Non-stop to take away some load on weekends, it could reduce some pressure on the roads. 


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