It’s not just youngsters speeding in fancy cars who cause road accidents. Rashly driven dumpers and buses - BEST and private buses, especially school buses - are regularly involved in several fatal accidents in the city.
“The drivers of school buses and their helpers have to take extra precaution as they are transporting children, who may or may not understand their own safety,” said an officer from Navghar police station, where a school bus met with an accident recently, on condition of anonymity.
While rules regarding safety measures to be taken have always been in place, they have not been taken seriously until recently.
“Now that steps are being taken – for instance, speed governors are being installed - we hope to see fewer accidents involving school buses,” the officer said.
Experts said BEST bus drivers are a big problem as they are aggressive drivers. Nitin Dossa from the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) said: “BEST bus drivers have a very aggressive approach. They will shift from extreme left lane to the extreme right lane with no regard for rules. As they drive a bulky vehicle, they know cars will not come in their way. They also believe that the police will not take action against them even if they are caught.”
Explaining the issue with BEST drivers, former BEST official Suhas Nalawade, who used to look at accident prevention, told HT after the July 30 school bus accident that heavy traffic has been badly affecting the running time of buses. “This affects the drivers. Also, bikes and autos keep obstructing buses, which add to their stress.”
Dumper drivers are also known for speeding. Prabhakar Satam, assistant commissioner of police (Kurla division), said dumper drivers often speed, especially on the highways, which can be dangerous for others. “We have been told that civic dumper drivers are paid a certain amount for every trip they make. So, to make as many trips as possible, the drivers speed.”