Light motor vehicles, of which cars and SUVs form a part, can now zoom at 120 Kph on the Yashwantrao Chavan expressway between Mumbai and Pune. The speed limit on the 90 kilometer access control road has been raised from 80 Kph to 120 Kph by the Ministry of Highways and Road Transport (MoRTH) of the central government. This decision was taken by Nitin Gadkari, the road transport and highways minister of India, in a meeting held a couple of days ago.
Milind Mohite, superintendent of police, Pune division of Highway Safety Police had this to say to PuneMirror,
For four-wheelers, the speed limit has been increased by 40 Kmph, so that these can now ply at a maximum speed of 120 Kmph. We have received an official notification to make the necessary changes. If this increase does not suit them still, we will penalise those drivers exceeding the 120 Kmph speed limit.
Even heavy transport vehicles such as buses can now hit 100 Kmph on the Mumbai-Pune expressway as speed limits for heavy vehicles have been raised to 100 Kmph, from 80 Kmph. However, driiving cautiously in the middle of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, close to Lonavala, is necessary given the fact that there are uphill and downhill sections in this part of the expressway, and this is likely to slow down many heavy vehicles.
An engineer with Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation – the state governmental body responsible for maintaining and overseeing – said the following,
We have received an intimation from the central authorities about revising the speed limit and are positive about the same. We will however make an official announcement next week about increasing the speed limit from 80 kmph to 120 kmph, and will make infrastructural changes at the earliest.
With the speed limits being raised on the Mumbai-Pune expressway – India’s first such high speed road – it’s just a matter of time before the 120 Kmph speed limit becomes the norm across expressways in India. However, such speeds can be very dangerous during the summers and for cars with underinflated tyres. A constant speed of 120 Kph for long periods of time can lead to tyre bursts and concrete roads produce more friction than tar roads, leading to tyres getting much hotter than normal. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to ensure the right tyre pressure and to also take constant breaks, allowing the tyres to cool down. Also, impacts at speeds of 120 Kmph are more or less fatal. So, make sure that you’re very alert at such high speeds as modern day cars are very good at masking speeds, making higher speed seem very normal and placid.