Are BMTC buses accident-prone?

Safety record goes for a toss; 193 mishaps till August this year

 
A BMTC bus that met with an accident near Sulikunte on Sarjapur Road on the outskirts of Bangalore on Tuesday. dh photoAs per traffic record information available with Deccan Herald, the number of accidents reported in the City, where BMTC buses were directly involved, are a whopping 193, till August 31 this year.

Sample these: The year 2009 has seen 47 fatal cases (50 deaths) being registered against BMTC, in addition to 193 non-fatal cases with 250 persons sustaining injuries. A majority of these cases registered have been offences under ‘Reckless driving.’
While most of these have been labelled as irresponsible driving, the drivers of these buses say these mishaps occur due to the unscientific and unattainable time-schedules, followed by the corporation.

Drivers under pressure

A driver, who has been on one of the busiest routes for 27 years says, “The time-schedule on many of the routes are the same as 20 years ago. With today’s traffic, we are under pressure to reach our destinations.”

This, he points out as the main reason behind violation of traffic rules as the drivers are sometimes even penalised with salary cuts. Another driver says that hectic driver booking along with a drop in the staff-schedule ratio is to blame for reckless driving.

However, this does not condone the act of rash driving by the drivers, who by BMTC’s own admission have many a times been found guilty of over speeding, prima facie.
According to K S Vishwanath, chief traffic manager (Operations), stringent action is initiated against drivers found guilty in a road mishap. “We keep the driver under suspension/off duty, pending inquiry by our internal vigilance department. If a driver is found to have caused the accident, once the investigation is completed, he is even dismissed from service.”

A traffic expert in the City adds, that BMTC drivers have to be more humane when driving and not bulldoze every other motorist or pedestrian. “BMTC should organise more driver training camps and sensitise them on safe driving procedures,” said the expert.

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