I’m all for the Southern Expressway. It makes going south for holidays easier and makes living out of Colombo more feasible. It just opened yesterday, and saw its first crash when a vehicle skidded off the road.
Despite having a history of ancient water engineering, Sri Lankans have a surprising propensity to be surprised by the rain. Yesterday it rained in spits and this seems to have caused a vehicle (carrying a foreigner and local driver) to skid off the road. They were injured but have been discharged (Daily Mirror)
Is the Southern Expressway intrinsically unsafe? Well, there will be accidents. As discussed previously, they narrowed the shoulder and space between lanes, neither of which caused this accident, though the former would have exacerbated it. Driving at 100k is very different from driving at 50k, or even 80. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve crossed 100 on the Galle Road (that may just be me) and it generally felt illegal and wrong. Sri Lankans need an education in highway driving, which they may get through the media and fear.
One accident in one day is not a great record, let’s hope it gets better. I’m going to try the expressway out next weekend inshallah. Perhaps wearing a helmet.
The Daily Mirror has more pics here. The van got messed up.
If you’d like to debate whether the Expressway is safe, check out this thread on Project Roku