BMTC to acquire 1,650 new buses with safety features, GPS tracking

BMTC to acquire 1,650 new buses with safety features, GPS tracking

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is set to introduce 1,650 new buses that will have a dashboard displaying 21 safety-related parameters including warning on over-speeding.

BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur said the public transport corporation is already running 10 such buses from Eicher on a trial basis. “Efforts will be made to acquire all the buses within the next year,” she added.

There have been repeated delays in BMTC’s efforts to acquire new buses, including a petition in court by a bus maker over tender process and the National Green Tribunal’s order over diesel buses. The NGT cleared the road for the BMTC on Thursday.

Caur said a detailed report on accidents in the past few years has thrown up a clear pattern in most of the cases, which has led to errors as well as fatalities. She said the present hydraulic doors will be upgraded to ensure that drivers cannot accelerate till the doors are closed. Authorities have taken steps, including mandatory breath analyser tests for its drivers and increasing the size of rear-view mirrors to eliminate blind spots besides installing GPS devices in all buses.

Speaking at the corporation’s Road Safety Week programme, which was held from January 9 to 15, she said the new doors will put an end to minor and major accidents reported during boarding and alighting from buses.

Caur said the accident rate involving BMTC buses has been coming down gradually in the past four years. “There were 88 fatal accidents in 2013, 78 in 2014 and 69 in 2015. In 2016, till December-end, there were only 32 such incidents,” she added.

BMTC chairman Nagaraj Yadav said the corporation has approached the problem of accidents with a holistic view rather than merely penalising drivers. “We have introduced welfare schemes for the staff. Drivers who have health problems and those above 40 years of age are made to undergo compulsory medical checkups. We are conducting de-addiction drives by providing counselling to help drivers quit tobacco use,” he said.

Yadav said the training centre at Varadahalli has played a major role in reducing accidents through training in safe driving, refresher training and traffic lane discipline. “BMTC may be running old buses. But we make sure that each bus is 100% fit for service,” he added.

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