You can expect better-behaving RTC drivers in the coming days, promise authorities. However, the number of people killed on the road by buses has shown no sign of decreasing.Md Nizamuddin firstname.lastname@example.org
You can expect better behaved RTC drivers in the coming days, promise authorities. However, death on road involving buses has shown no improvement
Over the years the APSRTC buses have earned notoriety as the ‘killer on wheels,’ and to tame this dragon, serious efforts have been taken in the past two years. Yet, the toll remains high. Deaths involving RTC buses till June- end is half of the previous year.
The number of deaths involving RTC buses stands at 42 till June, which is precisely half the number of deaths last year — 84. But the transport authorities and traffic police are optimistic of bringing the fatalities considerably down in the days ahead.
“Accidents involving RTC buses have come down drastically, following the number of initiatives,” claim the authorities.
They admit the death toll remain disturbingly high but making bus bays, training programme for drivers, employing guides from the 24 depots across the City, and slapping spot challans on the erring drivers have begun to show salutary effect on the general behaviour of the RTC bus driver, they point out.
Building bus bays has been an important initiative to curb fatalities. But lack of discipline of drivers is defeating the purpose, officials observed.
To control this situation the traffic police started penalising erring drivers who have a penchant to stop the bus anywhere except for the bus bay. “Passengers scramble after the bus that stops ahead or before the bus bay,” observed a regular commuter, Raghav Reddy.
For a change, drivers are being penalised with ‘direct challans’ for violating the guidelines. Even though some 6,500 drivers and 200 RTC guides undertook training, conducted by the traffic police in April and May this year, the number of challans issued recorded a staggering 774.
While increasing vehicular population and shrinking road infrastructure are blamed for many accidents, engaging ‘contract’ drivers who lack training and experience too is pointed out as a major contributing factor.
“An RTC bus has bumped into several vehicles on Road No12 a few months ago, injuring scores of people, some of them seriously. Later it came to light that the driver was on contract,” recalls, Rajneesh, a resident of Banjara Hills.
When brought to the notice of the RTC official, he acknowledged that there might be some drivers involved in negligence, but training programme undertaken recently has revealed negligence, not lack of efficiency is often the reason for accident.
“It was several months ago that drivers violated the traffic rules, now things have changed a lot. A complete one month programme was conducted on the drivers. Even after this if some drivers violated traffic rules, it would be crass negligence on their part”, said Venkateshwar Rao, Regional manager APSRTC.
As part of the measures to reduce number of road accidents involving RTC buses, the Traffic police has ordered 1,000 more barricades to be installed in different parts of the City. There are a total of 50 permanent, 137 mobile and 150 places on roads, inscribed as ‘Bus bay’.
“We are taking action against the buses violating the traffic rules. We believe that number of instances of traffic violation have come down. With the installation of some more barricades we shall ensure that the number of accidents is reduced,” said M K Singh, DCP (Traffic).
The APSRTC will begin a zero accident week from July 16 to July 22, said APSRTC managing director AK Khan. This will help create awareness amongst the driver community on road safety measures. The week will see distribution of leaflets and meetings will be conducted for depot managers to educate drivers about safe driving. Lectures on road safety are also being organised besides counseling. Vehicles will be put to thorough testing. Each driver will be told about safety measures especially to avoid the use of mobiles while driving. According to Khan, RTC has registered 2,879 accidents during 2010-11, the cases came down to 2,473 in 2011-12. There is an overall reduction but they want to bring this to zero, he said.