Book road engineers too for highway accidents, say experts

Book road engineers too for highway accidents, say experts

It was a combination of unscientific road dividers without reflectors and poorly lit Bengaluru-Mysuru highway that snuffed out the lives of Mysuru Lokayukta SP Ravi Kumar and his driver Kiran Kumar in the car-tipper accident on Wednesday night.

Had the divider been built scientifically with standard dimensions, the 10-wheeled tipper truck would not have climbed it.

Since the truck’s wheels are large, they can easily go over a divider that is barely six inches high and end up on the other side of the road, said a policeman requesting anonymity.

In July 2016, BBMP’s BJP corporator Mahesh Babu was killed in a similar fashion on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway when a vehicle coming from the opposite direction jumped the median and hit his car. 

“On a highway like Bengaluru-Mysuru road, where heavy vehicles ply in large numbers, low medians should be replaced with Concrete Traffic Barriers (CTB) at least near curves,” says Vivek Menon, a road expert. CTBs, which are 1.2 metres high, are interlocked and deflect the vehicle back into its lane and prevent even trucks from crossing over to the other side, he added.

The Bengaluru-Mysuru highway does not meet safety guidelines, especially for night driving like reflectors and reflective paint for dividers, say experts. Every stretch of the highway should have the right geometry and meet capacity requirements. This is the responsibility of the engineers who designed and stamped the drawing, experts say.

In the accident, where the senior police officer was killed for no fault of his, the road engineer also should be held culpable, and not just the truck driver, said Menon.

Initially, according to one version, it was the SP’s official car that lost control and collided head-on with the truck, but investigating officials confirmed it was otherwise. “The truck coming from Bidadi towards Bengaluru lost control near Ramohalli cross, crossed the divider and collided with the SP’s car and an autorickshaw moving in the opposite direction, killing Ravi Kumar and his driver Kiran Kumar. The auto driver, whose leg was fractured, is undergoing treatment at Rajarajeshwari Hospital,” said a senior police officer.

No VIPs at SPs funeral

Meanwhile, Ravi Kumar’s body was taken to his village in Sasalu in Doddaballapur taluk after postmortem at Rajarajeshwari Hospital and was laid to rest on Thursday. Relatives protested saying that since the officer came from an poor background, no VIPs attended the funeral though he was the Lokayukta SP.

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