A fully loaded truck travelled about 3km on the wrong side of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Tuesday before it was spotted and finally penalised ₹2,000 by the Ghaziabad traffic police.
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said the errant truck was spotted by their control room which alerted the highway patrol and they in turn informed the traffic police.
The traffic police said the truck was laden with LPG cylinders and was coming from Meerut when its driver got confused and got on the expressway at the ABES crossing near Crossings Republik.
“The truck was coming from Meerut and at the ABES crossing, it drove straight on to the expressway, instead of taking a turn. It drove for about 3km and took a U-turn on the wrong side before the driver realised his error. The errant truck was soon spotted by the traffic police and it was made to exit the expressway safely. A penalty of ₹2,000 was imposed on the driver for wrong side driving,” said Ramanand Kushwaha, additional deputy commissioner of police (traffic).
He claimed that the traffic police was not alerted by the NHAI control room; rather, the traffic police themselves spotted the errant truck.
However, the NHAI officials said vehicles on the expressway are regularly monitored by their control room through a series of CCTV cameras.
“We do not need to manually detect such vehicles as our cameras automatically pick up such errant vehicles. Our system received an alert about a truck travelling on the wrong side and this was immediately informed to the highway patrolling team. The team reached the ABES crossing and informed the traffic police who took up enforcement against the vehicle,” said an official from NHAI, who asked not to be named.
Such wrong side driving has proved fatal on the expressway in the past. On July 11, a yellow bus was driven on the wrong side for about 7.2km and collided head on with an SUV coming from Meerut near Behrampur, leaving six passengers in the SUV dead.
Figures from the traffic police show that there has been no decrease in instances of wrong side driving on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway stretches falling within Ghaziabad.
The figures indicate that the police penalised about 11,979 errant vehicles driven on the wrong side in 2022 and 22,854 fines were issued for wrong side driving during the period from January to July this year.
A total of 59,848 fines were issued for speeding on the two expressways in 2022 while 35,455 such fines were issued during the period from January to July this year, showed traffic police.