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Updated: November 26, 2013 01:16 IST

Experts to train drivers of high-end RTC buses

S. Sandeep Kumar
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They will learn about precautions to be taken during emergency situations and other aspects

APSRTC drivers, who drive high-end AC buses across the State, will now undergo refresher courses conducted by experts from Volvo, Mercedes, Ashok Leyland and Isuzu, about the safety measures equipped in the buses, precautions to be taken during emergency situations and other technical aspects.

Tragic incidents

This is in the wake of a private Volvo bus mishap at Palem in Mahabubnagar, in which 42 passengers were charred to death, a few weeks ago.

This apart, during the last four years, nine fire accidents occurred in APSRTC buses, of which six were due to electrical short circuit, two due to brakes jam and one due to collision with another vehicle.

Refresher course

One such refresher course to be conducted by Volvo experts was launched at Vijayawada on Monday and everyday 20 drivers from different depots would be attending the course. The refresher course would be conducted by other automobile experts in a phased manner at the RTC zonal training colleges in Hyderabad, Nellore and Visakhapatnam between November 25 and January 1.

These refresher courses are being conducted with special emphasis on passenger safety, besides helping the drivers to keep track of technical aspects in vehicles.

They would also be trained in procedures to be followed to ensure passenger safety during emergency cases, said G. Jaya Rao, Executive Director (Engineering and IT) of APSRTC.

Check-list

Each department such as mechanical, operational, will have a role to play in the upkeep of buses.

During the course, experts will provide a check-list for drivers and insist upon them to check tyre pressure, functioning of fire extinguishers, provision of hammers, brake conditions etc before commencing the journey.

RTC fleet

APSRTC operates 110 Volvo buses, 20 Mercedes, 30 Isuzu and 150 Indra AC (Ashok Leyland) and about 1,000 drivers operate them across the State.

Audio-video aides

From the automobile companies end, they will provide video CDs and brochures, which describe the methodology to operate fire extinguishers, hammers to break open emergency windows.

The video will be played before the journey and the brochures will be kept behind each seat in the bus.

This will be followed by a thorough check-up of all buses by the respective automobile experts.

They will check the vehicle condition and recommend repairs if needed so as to keep the vehicle fit for journeys, he added.

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