Walking into danger

Walking into danger

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (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. This is the scene on the Outer Ring Road which is everything but a signal-free corridor with vehicles zipping past and very less traffic jams holding them in their tracks.

But the corridor doubles up as a death trap for those mortals who seek to cross the thoroughfare on foot, thanks to the buses that stop randomly thus blocking almost half the road. The stretch from Manyata Tech Park to the KR Puram flyover along the Outer Ring Road has no designated bus stops and pedestrian crossings. 

Those who regularly travel on the Outer Ring Road think BMTC drivers must be educated on the consequences of random stopping, adhering to lane discipline and pay more respect to the safety of fellow travellers.

Savad Ateeq, an entrepreneur says, “It’s annoying to see people suddenly running across the road and adding to this problem are BMTC drivers who stop as they please. Most of  the accidents on this stretch are caused by sheer carelessness both on the part of the pedestrians and drivers.”

Bijith Madhavan, a banker, feels nobody cares to follow traffic rules. “Those who work in the tech parks located along the Outer Ring Road, especially near Hebbal are seen crossing over to their workplaces. They don’t wait for the vehicles to slow down but choose to run across. The bus drivers too don’t really oblige people who want to cross,” explains Bijith.

Rameez Mohammed, a professional, says getting across to the other side on the Outer Ring Road is a painful task. “It is a signal-free stretch and cops don’t stop speeding vehicles. The chances of getting hit while trying to cross the road are high. The fines should be more stringent for both the people who cross randomly and the buses that don’t stop at designated spots,” notes Rameez. 

The authorities claim that they are doing what they can to contain the menace of buses stopping at random places and prevent people from running across the road. Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, BMTC says that she is aware of buses stopping on the Outer Ring Road. 

“They are stopping at the right places but sadly these spots don’t have a shelter. There are only 1000 bus shelters across the City but ideally we must have not less than 6000 shelters in the City. We have given a list of proposed bus shelters to the BBMP,” explains Ekroop. She says that there are practical problems too.

“The buses can stop at bus bays but one often finds private cars and autorickshaws parked in these bays,” she adds.    

Additional commissioner of police (traffic) B Dayananda points out that the traffic police has suggested to BBMP to construct skywalks at several junctions along the Outer Ring Road.  

The Bangalore traffic police has registered 5551 cases against BMTC buses for random parking in 2012, the number dipped a little to 3603 cases in 2013 and till July end the police has registered 10556 against BMTC bus drivers.

“The work for a skywalk has already started near CV Raman Nagar and there will be two more on this stretch. This will prevent people from running across the road,” concludes Dayananda. 

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