Safe driving fizzling out?

Safe driving fizzling out?

BMTC deals mercilessly with drivers found guilty in accident cases

Officials from the State run corporation said, the driver, who was appointed a year ago has been kept under temporary suspension, pending full inquiry.
“It has always been the policy of BMTC to deal with drivers, if found guilty in accident related cases, mercilessly. We have to be strict since the matter involves lives of public. In this case, based on the initial investigations as per our assessment, eye-witness accounts and the traffic police FIR, driver Danappa appears prima facie guilty for speeding beyond permissible limits resulting in the vehicle going out of control. Though he has stated the brakes failed, the accident spot had tyre marks, indicating that brakes were applied suddenly and at the last minute,” a BMTC official said.
The bus plying between Kempegowda Bus Station (Majestic) and Masthanahalli near Chandapura ran amok, drove over the footpath railing and mowed down people waiting at the bus stop, killing two and injuring six people. This is the sixth accident involving a BMTC bus in 2009.

Drunken driving rare

Stating that drunken driving cases involving BMTC buses are a rare possibility, officials added, “As per our experience and post-accident investigations, drunken driving related accidents are minimal. Most of the drivers are found involved in rash and negligent driving, posing a serious hazard and threat to the lives of motorists. Only two to three drunken driving cases were detected during the last three years. Our line-checking mobile squads are equipped with breath-analysers. Random checks are done during day/night for possible alcohol influence. Overspeeding is also another reason. But, it must also be understood that every driver on the road has equal responsibility of following Safe Driving practices.” With accidents involving BMTC buses becoming routine, what does the State run corporation do after an accident?  Is the driver allowed to go scot-free or is any disciplinary action taken?

Guilty drivers punished

BMTC officials explained that after an accident, a ‘domestic inquiry’ is ordered wherein a panel of retired district judges, who constitute post-accident team, probe the issue in detail. The police report, driver’s version and eye-witness accounts are investigated. It takes anywhere between three to six months for the completion of investigation.
Later, disciplinary action is initiated depending on the gravity of the situation. The final punishment is permanent dismissal/suspension from service. In some cases, salary is cut if driver is partially responsible.
As per Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s own admission, only 20 per cent of drivers are found guilty/responsible in all accident related incidents that involve its buses. BMTC has dismissed 38 drivers from service, for rash driving in the last two years alone.


With a fleet of over 5,500 buses ferrying 37 lakh plus commuters daily criss-crossing the City, BMTC still holds the distinction of recording the lowest accident rate per lakh km in the country among public transport undertakings. The drivers of the BMTC aspire for the coveted ‘Chief Minister’s’ gold and silver medal that is awarded for zero-accident record in their career.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation also has a minimum set standard for recruitment of drivers and insists on a two year experience with a Heavy Transport Vehicle (HTV) license. Raw hands are never allowed to drive buses.
An in-house driving school with experienced drivers as instructors impart safe driving tips. Buses follow a scientific time schedule. This apart, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation conducts musical nites, yoga classes and de-stress programmes at its depots on weekends. Though drivers  are required to adhere to the set standards, the Corporation has relaxed the trips per day, in view of the impracticality of buses adhering to time schedule as chock-a-block traffic continues to be an impediment, explain BMTC officials.

Bus knocks down motorist

A motorist was killed when a BMTC bus knocked him down on 11th cross in Malleswaram on Sunday night. The accident occurred when the deceased Shivasharan Vivek (22) was returning home on his scooter. The bus driver has been arrested.

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