Govt plans dorms on highways for sleep-deprived motorists

Saurabh Katkurwar

Mumbai, March 7 -- The state government has come up with a novel way to reduce accidents caused by overworked drivers plying on highways. Contractors running border check posts will be asked to build dormitories on the premises where tired motorists can take a nap and renew their journey refreshed. The contractors will also have to arrange for breath analysers to detect drunk driving.

The announcement was made by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan during the inauguration of a border check post on national highway-8 at Dahanu on Wednesday.

"There has been an increase in number of accidents on highways particularly by stressed-out motorists who fall asleep while driving. So, we want the contractors to build dormitories where stressed drivers can sleep for at least two to three hours," he said.

Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar stressed on need for responsible driving to check accident cases. "With authorities upgrading roads such as six-lane highways, the number of accidents has also increased. So, everyone should drive responsibly," said Pawar.

The MSRDC, which has constructed the border check post at Dahanu, is planning to open another 11 of proposed 22 border check posts across the state this year. Apart from these, the MSRDC also is also mulling over constructing more such posts at JNPT (Jawarharlal Nehru Port Trust), the airports and railway stations to keep tabs on the transportation of goods in and out of the state.

Chavan said "With advanced technology at the check posts, overloaded trucks will be identified easily and subsequently will be unloaded. This will lead to huge losses to owners, which in turn will help check such cases."

He also said a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system that uses unique number plates will help check illegal transport activities. "The registration data of a vehicle fitted with a unique number plate will be recorded. When they pass through a border check post, actual data will be shown in the system," he added.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.