State government approves purchase of drone cameras to regulate trafic on Mumbai-Pune expressway

State government approves purchase of drone cameras to regulate trafic on Mumbai-Pune expressway
Drones were first used on the Mumbai-Pune expressway as a part of a pilot project in August last year (Picture Courtesy: The Matchbox)

The highway police is set to acquire drone cameras in a bid to regulate vehicular movement on the traffic and accident prone Mumbai-Pune expressway.

The highway police has already got approval from the state government to go ahead with the purchase of two drone cameras. The team is currently in the process of getting quotations from various vendors and is expected to close the deal soon.

The cameras, according to senior officials from the Maharashtra Highway Safety Patrol, will help monitor the traffic situation and drastically reduce the response time in case of mishaps or accidents on the expressway.

Drones were first used on the expressway in August last year as a part of a pilot project during which dozens of motorists were booked for speeding or lane-cutting.

Although the initiative had a few shortcomings, as the cameras were unable to take clear pictures during heavy rainfall and from a height of above 30 metres, its overall success prompted officials to go ahead with the project.

The expressway, among the busiest in the country, is used by thousands of motorists and transporters to travel to Lonavala and Pune everyday.

The route is especially packed on weekends when Mumbaikars throng the six-lane expressway to travel to Lonavala and Khandala for a quick weekend getaway.

The packed expressway, however, is riddled with accidents and long queues. According to data provided by the highway safety patrol, at least 151 people were killed in road accidents on the expressway in 2016 alone.

The route also witnesses major traffic snarls in case of accidents, vehicle breakdowns and landslides – all of which are capable to clogging the expressway for hours.

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