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Apr 14, 2009

Initiate measures to reduce accidents

The Kovai Mavatta Thozhilalar Nalavalvu Kootamaippu has urged Collector V. Palanikumar to initiate appropriate remedial measures to reduce the fatal accident rate rather than blaming the bus crew completely for the accidents.The federation, in a memorandum to the Collector, referred to the meeting held on March 31 and the related reports in the media on April 1 that the meeting had resolved to suspend/cancel the licence of bus drivers who caused fatal accidents.

Blaming the drivers alone and taking action on them was not a solution. The bus crew unions should have been invited to the meeting to ascertain the exact reasons for the accidents.Citing a number of reasons for buses getting involved in fatal accidents, the federation pointed out that buses that were not road worthy should not be plied. There were a number of buses that had tight steering wheel and inefficient brake system. Such buses should not be operated.

Similarly, the authorities should ensure operation of buses as per the timing and permit conditions.Every day, when the buses came to the shed at night, the drivers should write in a log book about the mechanical defects, if any, in the buses. They should be rectified before the buses were taken out next morning.

Without attending to the defects, the authorities had a practice of writing in the register ‘repairs attended to’ and such officials should be punished first rather than making the drivers scapegoats.They also alleged that some officials even forced the drivers who applied for sick leave to operate buses.

The federation pleaded for increasing the running time for buses to avoid rash, negligent driving and speeding. Steps should be taken to ensure that drivers were not forced to work continuously beyond eight hours. Similarly, speed limit within the city should be brought down to 30 kmph and the condition for ensuring 6 km per litre of diesel should be withdrawn immediately.

The federation also sought removal of huge advertisements on the rear windscreen of the buses as it affected the visibility of the drivers on the rear end traffic.

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