End Rash Driving by Buses in Kochi. Take Action Now!

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In the year 2017 there were 430 deaths &1764 grievous injuries caused by accidents involving private buses in Kerala as per data from keralapolice.gov.in

As per a news report published in The Hindu-"Private buses on (Kochi) city roads maim or kill one person every four days

Between January and September 2018 around 132 accidents were caused by private buses as per a news report in The New Indian Express by Kiran Narayanan.

Rash driving by bus drivers are said to be the among single largest cause of accidents involving private buses. Lets not forget Aneesha  Dolly, a 20 year old girl who was killed when a private bus rammed into the scooter driven by her father. The bus driver and the owner of the bus were arrested. Immediately after an accident there usually is a short surge in preventive measures to book bus drivers violating rules. Like always police action takes place only when an accident results in death and this continues to be the norm. This has to stop. There should be continuous and consistent enforcement of laws against errant bus drivers. Only when there is continuity in action can we expect progressive change in behaviour and approach of bus drivers. Regular & consistent policing is the only solution to enforce rules.

Many a times action plans have been drawn to curtail this menace, but there is never a continuity in enforcing the same.

Over the years, the issue has been taken up by the media.

"Wheels of Terror: Private bus turns killer again in Kerala"- The New Indian Express

"When will Kochi act?"- The New Indian Express

"Who is to blame for private bus accidents?" - The Hindu

"Action plan chalked out to tame rogue private bus drivers"- The New Indian Express

"Private buses kill two women pillion riders"-  Times of India

Any commuter on the roads of Kochi have clearly experienced first-hand the rash driving of bus drivers which not only puts the lives of other commuters at risk but also that of the passengers in the bus.

It can be seen by any casual observer that  Kochi Traffic Police has a lackadaisical approach to over speeding private buses with blaring horns. It is time for Kochi Traffic Police to stand-up and take proactive action in the interest of citizens and commuters by  taking stringent action against errant bus drivers. 

However we need a holistic approach to tackling the menace of rash bus drivers on the roads of Kochi.

  • Continuous Safety Awareness & Training
  • Sensitisation of bus drivers towards other commuters & vehicles on the road
  • Lane discipline and overtaking prevention in city limits
  • Make it mandatory to stop at designated bus stops and penalise the bus driver if he does not
  • Sensitisation towards the needs of bus passengers especially senior citizens
  • Give ample time for bus passengers to get on-board and descend from the bus
  • Devote resources to implement road safety
  •  Stringent action and penalties against erring bus owners and drivers for violation of road safety rules

In the interest of the citizens of Kochi, I request the Honourable Minister of Transport and the Road Safety Commissioner to instruct the Kochi Traffic Police & Motor Vehicles Department to ensure safety of commuters by enforcing stringent action against errant bus drivers. Effective action by traffic police and cohesive planning by government agencies, representatives and stakeholders can ensure safety of citizens and reduce loss of lives and grievous injuries.

Photo Credit: H.Vibhu (The Hindu 05-05-2011)