'It is important that the skills of even professional drivers be honed when they have to drive the latest models introduced by manufacturers'

An elderly man, who was watching TV in the front room of his house at Gangavaram, was killed recently when an SUV rammed into the house after the driver lost control and hit the wall.

Ironically, the man driving the SUV was a professional driver and had a valid driving licence.

What went wrong with his driving?

He was used to driving regular cars but had no experience of driving SUVs. He borrowed a friend’s SUV to hone his skills on the big machine.

While negotiating a curve on the narrow streets, he was said to have lost control and rammed into the house.

The driver was obviously unaware of the latest developments on the new breed of SUVs and must have pressed one button instead of another and the machine hit the wall with full force resulting in the concrete and bricks falling on the victim.

The unfortunate death of a man in an accident caused by an ‘accomplished driver’ speaks volumes for the importance of honing the skills of even professional drivers when they have to drive the latest models introduced by manufacturers.

Time to act

The recent accident involving a Volvo bus, run by a private operator, in which over 40 passengers were burnt to death in Mahabubnagar district has made the Government and the Transport Department press the panic button.

“Specialised training is needed for drivers of high-end buses. There should be separate endorsement in their licence besides its renewal every two to three years. The manufacturers should set up training centres in different parts of the country and impart training to drivers on the latest developments,” Deputy Transport Commissioner M. Prabhu Raj Kumar told The Hindu.

Suggestions sought

“The government has sought the suggestions from Transport officials all over the State. I suggested renewal of licence of drivers of transport vehicle once in a year instead of three years. I also advocated suspension of driving licence and cancellation of permit instead of simply imposing compounding fee for violations,” he said.

“RTC has reduced the speed of Garuda and Garuda plus buses from 110 kmph to 100 kmph and of Indra AC buses was reduced from 100 to 90 kmph after the recent accident. One kg fire extinguishers are being installed on these buses and stickers are being used both inside and outside the buses for information,” Deputy Chief Traffic Manager (Rural) P. Jeevan Prasad said.

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