Kozhikode

No let-up in road race by private buses

Local people block a bus near Naduvannur after it knocked down a two-wheeler rider recently.

Local people block a bus near Naduvannur after it knocked down a two-wheeler rider recently.  

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Call for strict action against rogue drivers

Despite the formation of special enforcement squads by the police and the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD), there is no let-up in reckless road race by private bus operators on the Kozhikode-Kuttiyadi and Kozhikode-Balussery routes. The incidence of clashes between bus crew and local people following accidents is also on the rise.

V.K. Adarsh, a resident of Perambra, said four persons were killed within the last two months on the Perambra-Kuttiyadi stretch alone as a result of reckless drive by private bus drivers. “On Friday, a scooterist was knocked down by a bus near Naduvannur. In another recent accident, a pedestrian was the victim, near the Perambra bus stand,” he said.

“The drivers are least bothered about our warning. We had blocked several buses on the road to correct them, but there is no visible change,” said Abdul Majeed, a merchant at Balussery. He alleged that the entry of some young drivers to the field added to the safety concerns.

A schoolteacher from Kuttiyadi said the MVD and the police were not taking strong legal action against the violators who were being caught on the road for not picking students. Often, the police were found settling the issue with no consideration to the complainants, he alleged.

Bus operators’ stance

Meanwhile, the bus operators claimed that the existing running time and daily schedule were putting a lot of pressure on the bus crew. A bus driver on the Kozhikode-Kuttiyadi route said the recent increase in the number of local bus stops, unexpected traffic snarls and the “unscientific” traffic re-arrangements by police were causing them huge trouble. He also argued that the local people were hardly aware of the looming business crisis in the sector and many of his friends had already left the job unable to withstand the work pressure.

P. Jijesh, a youth organisation leader who was in the forefront of recent protests against the road race of private buses in Perambra, said the drivers’ struggle to keep the running time was found correct in many occasions and it should be addressed in consultation with the authorities concerned. “At the same time, they should not find it as a reason to kill people on the road. Some of the drivers on the route are addicted to pan masala and other narcotic stuff. The police and MVD should expose such dangerous trends,” he said.

Responding to the issue, MVD officials said they had already intensified checking on the routes in the wake of the recent incidents with the support of newly appointed Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors under the Safe Kerala project. Many of the rogue drivers had already been served notices under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, they said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:09:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/no-let-up-in-road-race-by-private-buses/article29794700.ece

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