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Updated: March 28, 2012 14:50 IST

Footboard travel on the rise in city

L. Srikrishna
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Oblivious to danger: Passengers standing on the footboard while the bus is on the move, as seen at Goripalayam in the city on Tuesday. Photo: S. James
The Hindu Oblivious to danger: Passengers standing on the footboard while the bus is on the move, as seen at Goripalayam in the city on Tuesday. Photo: S. James

Three students have a miraculous escape

It was around 8.30 a.m. With Tuesday being a working day, vehicle movement was heavy on Kamarajar Salai leading to Tiruppuvanam.

Three students travelling on the footboard of a city bus plying from Periyar Bus Stand to Tiruppuvanam had a miraculous escape. They escaped with injuries. According to eye witness accounts, the bus driver tried to overtake a lorry. The footboard travellers were hit by hooks protruding from the lorry after the bus came into close contact with it. Police and rescue vehicles came to the spot and the injured students were rushed to the Government Rajaji Hospital.

While some passengers accused the TNSTC crew of rash and negligent driving, the driver and conductor blamed the footboard travellers.

When The Hindu contacted a traffic police officer, he said that the TNSTC should operate additional buses during peak hours on select routes which alone would solve the problem. Though there were provisions to impose fines under Section 123 of the Motor Vehicles Act for footboard travel,the police do not resort to such action. Instead, at periodic intervals, the police either made the footboard travellers go inside the bus or educated them about the consequences.

TNSTC labour union leaders squarely blamed it on the lethargic attitude of motorists for the rise in road accidents. The TNSTC, which is the biggest operator in Tamil Nadu, functioned productively despite difficulties and limitations, transporting lakhs of commuters daily. On many occasions, for no fault of the bus crew or when partially responsible for an accident, the driver was taken to task. If a case was booked against a driver, it resulted in his suspension and cancellation of driving licence for a year or so. The union leaders said that self-discipline should come from every road user and police should investigate an accident thoroughly before registering cases.

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