At the mercy of errant drivers!

Indisciplined lot

At the mercy of errant drivers!

The BMTC buses are capricious when it comes to stopping. They stop wherever they want to — in the middle of the road, sharp curves and just after a traffic signal island. But one place where they think twice before stopping is the designated bus stop.

The BMTC bus drivers who don’t seem to care about the safety of other vehicles on the road, have finally caught the attention of the Bangalore Traffic Police which conducted a week-long campaign against bus drivers who stop randomly. The traffic police booked 447 cases and will hand over a copy of detailed report of their week-long findings to the management of the BMTC.

But this is not enough. It’s a serious problem that raises question of disciplined driving and concern for the safety of fellow road users. Metrolife interacted with the traffic police, BMTC officials and regular bus commuters to understand what needs to be done to stop the BMTC buses from stopping randomly on the road.

Additional commissioner of police (traffic) M A Saleem informs, “We notice that buses stop in the middle of the road, causing traffic jams and at sharp turns, just to let passengers get off the bus. The maximum violations were spotted at Chamarajpet, Kamakshipalya, City Market and K R Puram.”

The BMTC managing director Anjum Parwaz shares that the BMTC and the traffic police have decided to form a joint team to check the BMTC buses that stop randomly. “Keeping the safety issue in mind, I have formed 11 teams from our end which will move along with the traffic police for a week and spot violations in areas where these are rampant.

We will do everything we can to ensure that commuters are safe,” he assures.     
However, the regular BMTC passengers are not convinced that the BMTC and traffic police are doing enough to check this trend. Nikita Balasubramaniam, a student who travels  by bus, points out that bus drivers must be educated on safety, “The buses are overcrowded most of the time and the drivers stop randomly, sometimes in the middle of the road, ignoring the safety of fellow passengers.

Bus drivers seem to lack the patience and are always in a hurry. They don’t realise how many lives they are risking.”Mohana Reddy, another student observes, “Looks like unscheduled stops have become the order of the day at peak hours. More than blaming the drivers, I think commuters must stop asking the drivers to stop whenever they want to get down.

Drivers must be educated on the consequences of random stopping, adhering to lane discipline and pay more respect to the safety of fellow travellers.”Aruna Giri, a professional who travels to work by BMTC bus, shares the same views, “The bus drivers oblige passengers and stop far away from the bus stands and you’d also find people running after the buses which is dangerous. Most people end up reaching their destinations late because buses run late.”

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