The dangerous pattern emerging on the Mérida-Cancún toll highway

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Serious accidents on the Mérida-Cancún toll highway have become a common occurrence. Photo: File

In the early hours of Jan. 29, yet another fatal accident was reported on the Mérida-Cancún toll highway.

On this occasion, one driver lost his life when he was thrown from his vehicle after being struck by a refrigeration truck.

On Jan. 24, a 2-year-old was killed and three of his family members were injured when their vehicle lost control and crashed into a large rock formation just off the road.

Novedades de Yucatán reported that in 2019, 30 people died and another 168 were injured as the result of accidents on this highway.

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Mexico’s federal commissioner in Yucatán, Julio César Martínez Arredondo, told Punto Medio that the Mérida-Cancún highway is by far the most dangerous stretch in the region as reckless drivers routinely ignore speed limits.

But there is growing concern that the already dangerous highway is being made even more perilous as long sections have been closed for construction related to the controversial Tren Maya, as well as for general maintenance.

On several sections of the highway, lanes have been merged and speed limits have been reduced to as low as 30 and 40 kilometers per hour. This has caused frustrating delays for drivers, many of whom feel tempted to speed up afterward to make up for lost time.

Drivers have taken to Twitter to express their frustration over the situation and wonder why the highway continues to charge full price if half of the lanes are closed.

At 518 pesos, the Mérida-Cancún toll highway is one of the most expensive roads in the entire country, second only to La Marquesa-Ciudad de México. As of yet, no completion date of construction has been announced.


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