Now, transport dept to check up on office vehicles

Will keep tabs on overloading, fatigued drivers, lack of basic equipment

After ordering private tourist and school buses to ensure safe travel, the transport department is going to check up on private vehicles that ferry employees, mostly of BPO companies, to their offices. 

Hundreds of such vehicles with a seating capacity between 13 (12 +1) and 26 can be found across the City round the clock. While there have been several complaints of rash driving — an aspect into which the traffic police are looking — the transport department is shifting its focus on passenger safety in these vehicles. 

A preliminary investigation by the department has found that these vehicles are often overloaded and drivers work overtime, putting in more than 10 hours everyday, fetching employees from one organisation to another. 

The department has started off with conducting regular camps for vehicle owners to create awareness on the number of hours drivers should spend at the wheel and ensuring that essential things such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers etc are kept in the vehicles. Owners are also taught the importance of regular maintenance, which adds years to a vehicle’s  life. 

Besides, the department has planned checkpoints in such IT corridors as Electronics city, Sarjapur etc. 

Shreya, a call centre executive who lives in Indiranagar and works in Electronics City, says she is picked up and dropped by the office vehicle. Usually the driver packs the vehicle to the maximum. 

Another worry, she goes on, is that most drivers start their day at 6 am and continue till late in the evening. 

“Sometime if we are not watching, he can doze off at the wheel at nights. It gets really scary,” she said. 

Shiva, an IT company employee whose workplace is on Sarjapur Road, recalled how a colleague of his hurt himself in the vehicle. 

“We were going home around midnight. Blood was oozing out of his arm and there was no first aid kit in the vehicle,” he said. 

“It was not a big injury but in the absence of even a cotton swab in the vehicle, we had to drive to a nearby nursing home. If there are checks to ensure all private vehicles have first aid kits, it will be of great help in an emergency.” 

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