Action taken after two recent Volvo bus-related accidents
The two Volvo bus-related accidents in the recent past seem to have spurred the Transport Department officials to crack the whip on operators not following safety guidelines. So since Thursday as many as 250 cases have been booked against mostly private operators for their failure to adhere to the passenger safety guidelines that include providing emergency exits.
In the two-day period, officials concerned seized 14 private buses for violating the transport permit.
The crackdown against bus operators, which began on Thursday in the wake of the fire accident involving the bus belonging to National Travels in Haveri killing seven persons and injuring more than 25 persons, will continue, said Joint Commissioner of Transport R.V. D’Souza.
“We deputed several teams in and around Bangalore and at the points from where buses begin the journey to different destinations and conducted a detailed check on them”, he added. “According to the Rules, there should be an emergency exit at the rear windscreen. But this exit in private buses like Volvo is at least 9 ft above the ground from outside the bus making it impossible for passengers to jump out,” said an RTO officer. engaged in the drive.
After the two buses went up in flames in separate incidents, it has emerged that neither did the passengers know about the emergency exit nor did they know about the hammer kept in the bus that could have been used to break glass of the emergency exit window. “Many lives could have been saved if they had known about the hammer kept in the bus”, a senior police officer said.
Mr. D’Souza pointed out that the travel agencies did not even have all the details of the passengers. “Though it is not specified in The Motor Vehicles Act that details of passengers travelling on a particular bus be taken, it is mandatory for them to maintain a database so that it can come in handy during emergencies, Mr. D’Souza said.
Among the cases booked in two days, a handful were against the KSRTC in connection with the safety norm violations.