Hyderabad: The first two lanes on Outer Ring Road are dedicated to cars, but Tollywood actor Ravi Teja’s brother Bharath Raju, who died in an accident on Saturday, was driving at high speed in Lane 5, which is an emergency lane and is used by broken down vehicles. This led to the fatal accident, a traffic police official said.
At about 9.45 pm on Saturday, Bharath was allegedly driving his car in a rash manner while proceeding from the Novotel near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport towards the ORR.
Going by the damaged speedometer, police said he was driving at 145 km.
Cyberabad traffic police has introduced many speed guns and are booking drivers every day.
ACP Shamshabad Karo-lla Prasad said, "Despite creating much awareness about the lane system and speed limit on ORR, Bharath jumped lanes and went into a lane which was not meant for cars. This was one of the main reasons for the fatal accident, and overspeeding of course."
He said the first two lanes are dedicated to cars. The slow lanes 3 and 4 are for heavy vehicles. "As dividers are small, vehicles might jump into other lanes during high speed accidents. If cars follow their dedicated lanes, it will help to some extent to avoid accidents.’’
He adds, "Drivers continue to drive even if they are feeling sleepy, which is one of the main causes of most of the accidents that occur at the ORR or highways. Drivers should never drive when they are drowsy, as it leads to loss of concentration and they tend to fall sleep at the wheel."
Mr Prasad said, "A patrolling team was near the accident site. After receiving the information about the accident an ORR-2 mobile patrolling team rushed to the spot and found that the car had rammed into a lorry from behind."
The lorry was parked in the emergency lane, as there was a mechanical defect, he said. A police official said it was stranded in the emergency lane for two days.
Mr Prasad said that the speedometer of Bharath Raju’s Skoda had got stuck at 145 kmph. "If he was driving on the dedicated lanes maybe the accident wouldn’t have occurred in the first place".
RGIA police inspector M. Mahesh said it was found that Bharath had been to Novotel hotel with a friend. "We are finding out who accompanied Bhara-th to the hotel and what was the purpose. It is not clear where was Bharath heading." he said.
Liquor bottle found in car
An empty vodka bottle was found in the rear seat of the Skoda car that was involved in the accident that took the life of actor Ravi Teja’s brother Bharath Raju. Police said they could confirm whether he was driving drunk only after getting the forensic report.
The Cyberabad traffic police said Bharath was driving at high speed in the wrong lane. According to the police, the speedometer in the car was stuck at 145 kmph.
According to records, the Skoda had two challans for Rs 370 for wrong parking in carriageway, once each in Banjara Hills and Shamshabad.
RGIA police inspector M. Mahesh said they seized the vodka bottle found in the car. They also found Bharath’s mobile, debit cards, cash and gold ornaments which were handed over to his brother Raghu.
Cyberabad traffic DCP A.R. Srinivas in a media release said the accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving.
"The car drove over the cones and protective tape," he said. Other officials said that the traffic cones and the tape were placed to indicate that the truck had broken down and was under repair. The truck driver had placed a few tree branches on the truck to caution drivers.