Crash barriers, safety audit can make Yamuna Expressway accident-proof: Experts

Basic measures like installing crash barriers could either prevent or lessen the severity of accidents on the accident-prone Yamuna Expressway, according to a report by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

This and many other measures were among the suggestions made by CRRI under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2015 after carrying out a site inspection of the highway that links Agra and Delhi.

Over 8,000 people have been killed in over 5,000 accidents since the Expressway was inaugurated in 2012. Monday”s deadly bus accident near Agra left 30 people dead and 22 others injured.

“It is prudent to provide the beam crash barrier on the median side instead of the barbed wire fencing which is placed on the ground. Such a measure would help to deflect back any errant vehicle to the travel lane which is not possible with the barbed wire fencing,” said one of the recommendations of the report based on the study carried out after vehicle pile-ups, which have become common on the highway.

“Not only are crash barriers required on the sides but they should also be put up in the middle so that a crash in one lane does not have any impact on the other. Moreover, the highway requires authorities to constantly monitor speed,” said S. Velmurugan, senior principal scientist at the CRRI.

The 2015 report also recommended installing speed arrestors (transverse rows of road studs) every five kilometres sandwiched between two sets of transverse bar markings or TBMs. They were to be the secondary measure apart from strict enforcement of speed limit of 100 kmh allowed on the stretch. For the enforcement, putting up additional speed cameras equipped with Automatic Number Plate Reader System was also suggested.

The report also said that a conventional Road Safety Audit (RSA) of the entire Yamuna Expressway should be carried out and such a study can be carried out by CSIR-CRRI.

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