Govt data shows fall in BMTC accident, fatality rates

Govt data shows fall in BMTC accident, fatality rates

Govt data shows fall in BMTC accident, fatality rates
A close look at the accidents and fatalities data involving the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses reveals that there is a fall in the rate of accidents and fatalities over the past five years.

One of the reasons attributed to this is the rigorous training and monitoring of work performance of the BMTC drivers.

In 2009-10, the number of BMTC-related accidents was 565 and deaths 96, while in 2014-15, the number of accidents was 388, and fatalities 78. In 2011-12, the number of accidents was 485, while in 2012-13, the number was sharply down to 414. However, in the same period, the number of deaths was 79 in 2011-12, while it increased to 90 in 2012-13. In 2013-14, the accidents fell to 394 and deaths to 88. In 2014-15, the accidents was 388 and deaths 78.

The data shows that after 2011-12, the number of accidents as well as fatalities has been coming down sharply. In particular, the number of deaths fell from 88 to 78 in the space of one year, while the accidents fell by 20.

However, this doesn’t mean that the roads are accident-free and that no fatalities occur. The most recent one was that of a 17-year-old PU student of Mount Carmel College who was on her way to her college. She was fatally knocked down by a BMTC bus at the Kempegowda bus station in Majestic on October 19.

A sharp public protest erupted, which shows that even a single accident and death case is taken very seriously by the public even if macro trends and statistics show a declining trend in accidents and mishaps.

A frequent BMTC traveller, Revathi Narayan, says: “The BMTC buses are driven very fast. They come very close up to your vehicle, you wonder when they will hit you. So, it’s not a matter of numbers, but psychology. People will believe that accidents are coming down only if the fear of BMTC driving goes down.”

Chief Traffic Manager B C Renukeshwar says the BMTC has been holding very professional courses and training for its drivers and is also monitoring their work performance. “We have a central training institute where we run many kinds of training which the candidates have to pass before getting onto the actual task of driving live. Even if they get a licence from the Regional Transport Office stating that they are qualified drivers, they have to pass the BMTC’s trials to be called qualified. This is hard and we have to drop many candidates.”

In addition, work performance also counts. “The BMTC monitors the performance of drivers over a period of time. We have frequent checks and from time to time, candidates are assessed and inputs are given to improve driving, especially in Bengaluru’s conditions, which sees a lot of two-wheelers driving recklessly. Based on the assessment, drivers are allowed to continue driving,” Renukeshwar said.