It is better to reach late than never and now data supports this phrase as well. The year 2015 saw 30,000 lives in India lost in accidents caused by overtaking, according to the recent road traffic accident report by the transport ministry.
According to the report, diverging and merging resulted in nearly 32,000 fatalities on roads while stationary and other parked vehicles were involved in nearly 26,000 crashes that claimed 7,280 lives last year.
"Overtaking is a menace across all roads simply because neither the road users nor the enforcement agencies are aware of the right of way. The rules clearly mention that you can't overtake at crossings, junctions, bend or wherever you can't see the traffic clearly," the Times of India quoted road safety expert Rohit Baluja.
Overtaking, specially on two-way roads is exceedingly dangerous. What makes it worse is either no or little enforcement. "The danger is more in hilly areas and vehicles from outside these states violate the law. There is no one to enforce (the law). So all this make roads more unsafe," Baluja added.
According to experts, poor traffic engineering is responsible for increasing crashes and fatalities due to diverging and merging traffic.
"We also have high number of deaths caused due to stationary vehicles on road. It simply points to how there is hardly any enforcement and patrolling to prevent such crashes. State police dn't have adequate force to patrol the highways and the highway managers don't wake up until a few lives are lost," said SP Singh of IFTRT, a think tank on transport issues.
According to TOI, 17 persons were killed and 21 injured when a private bus hit two stationary private vehicles on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, on Sunday. The police had claimed the disaster could have been averted if the car driver had switched on the parking lights while fixing the flat tyre.