The Lutyens Journalists, who often marinate in their own mediocrity, constantly get exposed on social media for their lack of intelligence and failure to comprehend facts. Sucheta Dalal, one of the members of Lutyens cabal displayed her ignorance concerning the basic road safety rules and went on to discredit Narendra Modi government for introducing high-tech bullet trains in the country.
The recent accidents on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and subsequent action by the Maharashtra highway traffic patrol to install radars and speed guns to nab overspeeding vehicles seems to have not impressed Sucheta Dalal. She criticised the introduction of speed limits and speed guns across the highways while objecting to penalise the overspeeding drivers. However, she did not stop there. Dalal, while criticising the road safety norms, lamented over enforcing the existing rules of speed checks on Highways and questioned the government on whether they will justify the same for Bullet Trains.
Mumbai Pune expressway built for speed 25 yrs ago will impose speed limits & install speed guns to penalise people; at the same time justify EXPENSIVE BULLET TRAIN as moving with the times? ?? @nitin_gadkari @PiyushGoyal Both by BJP!!
— Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) March 10, 2019
According to Sucheta Dalal’s rationale, the authorities must not introduce such road safety norms or check overspeeding drivers on Highways as the original intent of building highways like Mumbai-Pune expressway was ‘speed’. She further questioned the ruling party about the reasoning behind introducing Bullet trains if they are going to introduce such check speeds on Highway. As per Dalal’s logic, the speeding on Highways and high-speed Bullet trains are similar as she questions the government whether such rules are also forced on Bullet trains.
However, Dalal deliberately ignores the fact that there have always been speed limits on highways and expressways to check reckless driving which causes fatal accidents. It is correct that Expressways are built to ensure fast transport, but that does not mean there are no speed limits and safety norms on them. Most importantly she misses the fact that these are not new rules notified either by the Centre or the state government. In fact, the Narendra Modi government had increased the speed limit for vehicles on expressways from 100 kmph to 120 kmph, contrary to what Dalal claims.
Driving recklessly on Highways cannot also be equated with similar speeds of a Bullet-train. As Bullet trains operate under a different set of rules and system, drawing a parallel between high-speed bullet trains and speeding on highways is completely absurd. Moreover, even Bullet trains and other high-speed rail networks across the world have speed limits. There are strict safety norms on high-speed rail networks, and they are never breached. Due to such safety norms, fatal accidents occurring on high-speed train systems are much lesser than road fatalities.
According to the National Criminal Bureau Record (NCRB) data, in 2015, the total road accidents in India accounted for 4,64,674 accidents which have resulted in 1,48,707 traffic-related deaths in India. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway also has witnessed a large number of accidents. In the first 10 years since its opening, there were 1,758 accidents with more than 400 fatalities on this road. Fatal accidents on this road happen regularly, with an average of 125 deaths per year. Realising the importance of reducing traffic-related deaths, the government has taken necessary steps like ensuring speed checks, speed breakers on national highways and expressways.
Although fast travel is important, safety and human lives are of utmost importance, and therefore it is essential to implement safety norms on highways and expressways like speed limits, lane discipline etc. There are speed limits on high-speed roads everywhere in the world, like the freeways in the USA have speed limits ranging from 100 kmph to 120 kmph, and police keep a strict watch on overspeeding vehicles using speed guns and other devices. Therefore, it is ridiculous to claim that there should not be speed limits on expressways in India.
Sucheta Dalal, who claims to be a journalist must stay away from such ridiculous arguments, which not only exposes their weak understanding of the facts but also raises questions regarding the credibility of their ‘intellect’ they claim to possess.