Putting the lives of others at risk

Putting the lives of others at risk

How many times have you felt nervous before boarding a BMTC bus or driving alongside one? With the traffic in the City being unpredictable, the rash driving of the BMTC bus drivers is adding to the number of road accidents. Bangaloreans voice their plight about the rash behaviour of these drivers.

Regular bus commuters like Bishwajeet Bhattacharya, a relationship officer in the education industry, share that the drivers of the BMTC and Volvo drive at a crazy speed and don’t even listen to the traffic police. “The way the BMTC drivers drive, one wouldn’t know for sure if they will stop or not at signals or just hit the motorists. Their driving has scared me so much that I mostly commute by my own vehicle now,” he says.

Faiza, a post-graduate student, says that since the bus drivers drive at a high speed, they often apply brakes suddenly. “People, who are standing inside the bus or even sitting, can be thrown off or injured because of this,” she says. Faiza also points out that it is a scary walk for the pedestrians as the bus drivers often do not see them even when they are at the zebra crossing.

Many regular bus commuters like Pavan Hogade, an HR professional, who travels everyday from ITPL to Malleswaram, says that more sensitisation drives need to be conducted for these bus drivers. “The statistics of the number of accidents that happen on the roads because of the BMTC buses should be shown to the drivers regularly. Also, footage of the drivers in the buses through CCTV cameras should be shown to the drivers to make them more aware,” he says.

Pavan says that there have been times when he has gone up to the driver and asked him to slow down but in vain. Many feel that the motorists, who have to drive besides the BMTC buses, are the worst affected. “Often, these bus drivers are in such a hurry and driving hap-hazardly that they don’t see a two wheeler besides them and hit it or startle the motorist,” shares Sreeja, a young professional.

She adds that a regular check for these buses is a must. “The Volvo bus drivers drive as fast during the day as the inter-state Volvo bus drivers do at night and it’s scary to see them take sharp turns,” says Sreeja.

The authorities say that they are doing everything they can to keep a tab on the situation. Veeregowda, general manager (traffic) of BMTC, says that the BMTC conducts regular training programmes and refresher courses for the bus drivers. “The driver skills, habits, human behaviour and ill wills of accidents are all explained to the drivers. A video created by the traffic police is shown them and they are also told about how they can control accidents.

There is a special training given to the drivers who have been involved in accidents earlier,” lists out Veeregowda. He also states that a lot of the accidents happen due to other motorists, especially two wheeler riders. “Most of these accidents involve youngsters as they try to overtake the buses from the sides,” he vouches.

The traffic authorities feel that the BMTC drivers have to be sensitised more about driving carefully. B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic), says,“The traffic department does conduct training and courses for the bus drivers. We also bring the drivers to our Traffic Management Centre and show them live footage of the BMTC buses plying on the road, so that they can see and learn for themselves.”

He states that in 2013, there were 66 fatal accidents and 171 non fatal accidents while in 2014 (till March 31), there have been 20 fatal accidents and 45 non fatal ones. “Since buses take more space on the roads, the drivers should be careful about following the rules and not inconveniencing or putting the lives of others at risk,” he wraps up.

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