Parking areas to be set up on expressways | Daily News

Parking areas to be set up on expressways

The Southern Expressway is to be extended to Hambanthota
The Southern Expressway is to be extended to Hambanthota

“The Road Development Authority (RDA) plans to provide turnouts or parking areas every 20 kilometres (approximately 20 minutes drive) for the convenience of motorists using the Expressways,” RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi said.

“Currently it is considered as an offence to pull over on our expressways unless in an emergency. As expressways were a novel experience to Sri Lanka, there was no provision made for parking areas where a motorist could stop and rest except at the rest area almost at halfway point, but we have identified the need and will provide them,” he added.

“Because tiredness significantly weakens driving even if the driver does not feel sleepy, it is best that the driver pulls over when feeling tired as it could save the driver’s life or someone else’s. Thus, parking areas or turnouts at regular intervals are essential on an expressway. Parking areas are much smaller than a service or rest area and comprise of a small parking lot, toilets and possibly drink vending machines. Whereas a rest area is a larger facility located by the side of a highway or an expressway at which drivers and passengers can rest, eat, or refuel without exiting onto secondary roads,” the Chairman said.

At present, the only rest area on the Southern Expressway (E01) is located near Welipenna, 44 kilometres from the Kottawa interchange, while the next rest area is to be located near Tangalle.

The Expressway Operation, Maintenance and Management Division of the RDA recommends that drivers need to be on alert and be positive in any emergency encountered while driving on expressways. Safe driving requires clear judgement, concentration and ability to react to what is happening on the road. Alcohol and other drugs affect a driver’s skills, mood and most importantly behaviour, putting the driver at great risk of crashing. So, the driver must not use alcohol or other drugs before or while driving. Follow the rules and regulations for a faster, safer and secure journey,” he said.

“Drivers joining the expressway from rest areas or parking areas should have gained sufficient speed before merging or a pile-up is inevitable,” said a motorist who drives on many expressways abroad.


 

Add new comment