Traffic police tips drive BMTC to safety

Tips on reponsible driving from the Bangalore Traffic Police to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) drivers seem to be yielding fruit.

The corporation, which was known for paying penalties in lakhs for traffic violations committed by its drivers, has managed to reduce them by over 50 percent this year.
According to information available with the traffic police, BMTC has paid only Rs 16 lakh as penalty this year compared to Rs 35 lakh the previous year.

Speaking to Deccan Herald Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic & Security) Praveen Sood said: “Last year we asked the BMTC to start recovering a portion, if not all, of the fine the corporation pays as penalty from the drivers, so that there is some accountability.” It has worked wonderfully with the fine amount reducing drastically, he added.

The police have also been taking the drivers to traffic management centres (TMCs) across the City to help them understand the mistakes by showing them visuals captured in traffic cameras.

This, according to Sood, is working well as many of the drivers violate rules without realising it is a violation. “After they see it for themselves, they understand where they are going wrong and try to rectify it,” he added.

BMTC training

BMTC Managing Director Syed Zameer Pasha, while acknowledging that the new system has helped the corporation, said that credit must also go to the BMTC training. “The new drivers’ training centre has also been instrumental in reducing violations on the road and we are also training drivers on how to behave with passengers,” he said.

While expressing happiness over the reduced violations by BMTC buses on City roads, Sood cautioned that the facts are only of the recorded violations. “We must understand that only about 35-40 percent of the violations committed by BMTC are recorded.

Reduction in the fine they pay may not necessarily mean that everything is fine,” he said.
He also pointed out that one of the major problems with BMTC was over-speeding.

Drivers’ version

BMTC Bus Union president Revappa told Deccan Herald that there are so many violations because of unscientific planning, rules and their implementation in the corporation.

“If a driver is given a route and not enough time to complete it, he is obviously going to break some rules to be at the depot on time. Otherwise, he will be fined,” Revappa quipped, adding that this is just an example and there are many more problems, including inducting fresh drivers without training.

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