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Old 16th November 2013, 11:27   #16
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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
I dont think the Volvo or other buses from the foreign players are unsuitable for Indian conditions at all. But on the other hand there is an issue of overspeeding in buses. But on the issue of speed, our existing speed limits are a bit too low. Most of our highways are limited to 80kmph legally. But not many actually stick to that limit. I have seen 49ton Volvo and Prima trucks doing more than 80 at times. Having a unreasonable speed limit just means nobody will even thinking of staying within it. In my view the entire speed limit and road safety infrastructure needs to be looked into. On the speed limits, on the major 4/6-lane highways, cars should be allowed to do 110kmph, while buses can be allowed 90kmph. Buses can then be fit with speed limiters at 90/95kmph. Also, the extra power in the bus is not so much used for maintaining high speeds. A Tata with 180hp will easily maintain 90+ all day if you ask it to. The need of the power is how fast you can accelerate upto that speed. And in crowded highways, where you have to slow down quite a lot, a big engine with lots of power and torque means you can regain your cruise speed quickly after having to slow down. As for the catching fire thing, I dont think its a design issue with the bus. Until now we havnt got any explanation regarding the cause, or even likely cause of the fire. Fuel tanks dont explode like in the movies. Especially when they are plastic tanks like in the Volvo. Also, while you may say the height of the emergency exit is a bit high, there are enough exits and they are easy enough to use on all Volvo buses. But one might say, people dont always know how to use them.
It's the absence of strict laws and penalties which act as deterrents. That's why most drivers / riders here blatantly flout our idiotic traffic rules. The fine for overspeeding is same no matter what speeds you do. Overloading is a common thing over here. Traffic cops are more interested in collecting fines without receipts. And most of them that I have encountered are only interested in hiding behind lamp posts or one way streets to collect fines than actually help regulate traffic. Overloaded buses towards TN and KL are a common sight at Madiwala , Bangalore. This road passes right in front of the police station where a lot of cops from the BTP are stationed. The way these buses have luggage on their roof, any idiot can say they are overloaded. Never have I seen any bus being stopped by these cops. The only vehicles that I see being flagged down are hapless out station truckers , who stop for a while , shake hands with the cops ( dunno if they exchange anything when they shake hands ) and then carry on. The first change I would want to see would be at the RTO level.

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
VOLVO drivers don't drive fast, they just fly /URL]
Check out this video on YouTube:



Would anyone dare to drive like this if we had stricter punishments ( both for the driver and the operator)

And this is a common sight on our roads. Had this bus crashed into the oncoming bus ( who didn't slow down as well ) , this driver would have taken out 3 other vehicles ( the truck he was overtaking , the car driver tailgating the truck and the oncoming bus )along with him. Looks like somewhere in MH. This driver knows that if at all he survives an accident , all he needs to do is change operators and he will be let loose again on our roads.

I remneber a KSRTC driver tell me long ago that they just have to pay a penalty of 8 K INR for an accident involving fatalities ( dunno how true this is ) and that they get a different route to drive on.

Last edited by speedsatya : 16th November 2013 at 11:42.
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Old 16th November 2013, 11:34   #17
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

THE VOLVO HIGHWAY COMBUSTIBLE COFFINS

The Volvo factory is located at Hosakote,on the Bangalore- Kolar highway

Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?-sonycamv-1382.jpg

(clicked by me in March 2010, while driving across)

Another revelation in this Times of India report faithfully recording the Karnataka Government's team preliminary findings, apportions the blame on the operator, who it is evident was responsible for serious violations of safety norms and got fabricated a seat at the front entrance door, that prevented the passengers from escaping the inferno.

The investigating team also found that:

- the bus was overspeeding.

- the second driver was asleep in the luggage space and was the first to get burnt to death.

- there were no hammers in place for emergencies, to break open the sealed windows.

- there was no provision for seat belts for the driver and passengers, many drivers did not even know how to wear the seat belt.

- the crew were clueless about the safety video that is to be shown to passengers before every trip.

- the fuel tank fire cause is under investigation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/25851023.cms

OUR COMMENTS ON THE COMBUSTIBLE HIGHWAY COFFINS

- The over speeding finding might be quite true, given the general behaviour of the operator/ driver nexus and the Volvo videos showing these being driven at 120 kmph or so. Can the Transport Department not make speed governors compulsory in all Volvo class buses?

- The added seat near the entry/ exit door is a true fact and has been established.What about emergency exits and precautions taken by Volvo to pre-empt such tragedies?

- there were no hammers in place for breaking the sealed windows. Volvo should supply tested OE hammers that are securely fastened in known locations (depicted in a bus interior drawing prominently displayed to all passengers). Any unauthorised touching or use should alert the driver's cabin electronically.

- seat belts- is the driver/ operator or manufacturer responsible? A portion of the blame should be rightfully on the driver/ operator for their ignorance. Who enforces these laws? The Transport Department.

- safety video, if Volvo supplies any such video as OE with every bus, the driver/ conductor and operator is to be blamed fully.

- fuel tank investigation in progress - Volvo buses evidently have defectively designed fuel tanks that appear to be the main culprit. A bus getting smashed due to over speeding is OK, but getting burnt every time upon impact, makes the matter very serious and worth cognisance by one and all.

Each bus operator must ensure demonstrations of safety precautions either by video or manually by the conductor, to all passengers, before the start of each trip just as the Airlines do. These Volvo class of buses are different from the past generation ones in many ways.

Two related links from The Hindu and FirstPost.com:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...ef=relatedNews


http://www.firstpost.com/india/ap-ka...o-1206207.html

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 16th November 2013 at 12:01.
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Old 16th November 2013, 11:42   #18
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In one of the news reports I read that a young male passenger had to smash the windows of the ill fated bus with his head because of the lack of hammers.

He smash opened the windows with his head and saved many other passengers too! Later he was admitted in the hospital for head injury and is presently undergoing treatment, according to the news report.
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Old 16th November 2013, 12:50   #19
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

Some of the claims, on private operators:
- Though Volvo come with factory fitted 350 litre fuel tank, the private operators retro fit the fuel tank & increase it to 750 litres to reduce downtime & refills.
- Volvo luggage compartment is big enough to carry a two-wheeler and many operators do carry 2-wheelers (with fuel in it). Sometimes they carry combustible stuff in unsafe package.
- Driver, cleaner carry cooking materials, including stove in the luggage compartment.

Not sure how true these claims are, but if it is true then it is matter of concern.
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Old 16th November 2013, 13:12   #20
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

An unrelated incident. A truck drove over a popped up man hole cover rupturing his diesel tank & it spilled out on the streets. BUT, no fire. I don't think a diesel fuel tank rupture or it taking a hit can cause fire. It's just not as flammable as petrol or kerosene. There is some other reason at work. Maybe flammable cargo is the likely suspect.

Unrelated diesel tank rupture incident in US.
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Old 16th November 2013, 20:19   #21
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

The power available on tap and the superior brakes gives the drivers the confidence to speed up, rather the over-confidence to over-speed.

OT: I have travelled several times in the Bangalore BMTC Volvo, mostly to-from the airport. The way the drivers drive, cut through extremely small gaps, zig-zags, etc, an experienced driver won't dare in his T-Jet (lets say). I have seen them accelerate (you are sure to fall back on the floor), cruise happily at 80-90 kmph and brake harder (I bet, if you are standing you will crash into the front wind-screen). And the most shocking of all, I have seen many of them doing all the above, with one hand on the steering and the other on a newspaper ; one leg operating the brake/accelerator while the other is folding on the seat .

The point here is when a driver is driving in such a manner in glaring daylight in front of all the public, what can he attempt at night when all are sleeping.


Also on the highway, I have seen buses cruising and over-taking other vehicles while they are dangerously close to the central divider. On one occasion, while on my way to Tumkur a Volvo was trying to overtake a long trailer. Even before the trailer had given sufficient space, the Volvo went ahead. Being a low-floor bus, the rear side panel did scrape the divider causing small sparks to fly but the driver had corrected quick enough. If driven in such a way, we are trying to test the safety of the claimed "safest vehicles" at each and every instant. It is bound to fail the test at some instant.
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Old 16th November 2013, 22:09   #22
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
one leg operating the brake/accelerator while the other is folding on the seat
Honestly, I find nothing wrong in that. Its an automatic bus, and he has not application for the left leg! Yes - I do agree that the driver might get a bit too comfortable if he folds up his legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
The point here is when a driver is driving in such a manner in glaring daylight in front of all the public, what can he attempt at night when all are sleeping.
Guys who regularly drive nights wouldn't do heroics on the road - very often drivers are a very superstitious lot of people - and hence they do follow certain "norms" on the road. Very often accidents happen when a vehicle ahead suddenly veers or brakes. I am not justifying rash driving here, but we are over-exaggerating things here to prove a point.
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Old 16th November 2013, 22:19   #23
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Honestly, I find nothing wrong in that. Its an automatic bus, and he has not application for the left leg! Yes - I do agree that the driver might get a bit too comfortable if he folds up his legs. Guys who regularly drive nights wouldn't do heroics on the road - very often drivers are a very superstitious lot of people - and hence they do follow certain "norms" on the road. Very often accidents happen when a vehicle ahead suddenly veers or brakes. I am not justifying rash driving here, but we are over-exaggerating things here to prove a point.
Call me paranoid but I feel their attitude to be very casual ,care free and at the same time very aggressive while driving, which is not at all confidence inspiring. I fear when I see a Volvo in my RVM and give a pass asap.

Just my opinion. No offence meant though.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 17th November 2013 at 04:26. Reason: Deleted duplicate text.
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Old 17th November 2013, 08:21   #24
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Another related article in TOI: even the officials are not in the frame of blaming Volvo fully

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...edium=referral
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Old 17th November 2013, 10:11   #25
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

I think a straight answer to both the questions that have been put up in the subject line is a resounding NO. Volvo buses are not unsafe, nor or they prone to fire specifically unlike other buses. It could be a question worth considering if the buses were combusting spontaneously or if they are found to have doors that do not open even when the bus has not met with an accident.

The problem with any mechanical devices is that a number of things can go wrong with them owing to manufacturing defect, lack of proper scheduled maintenance, replacement of parts with spurious ones to cut costs, rash driving which includes bad overtaking manoeuvres without correctly calculating if one is an a position to completing the overtaking manoeuvre in a given distance and time. In fact, most of the highway accidents in India involving private cars are during overtaking.

In my humble opinion the reason why Volvo buses have gone up in flames twice (and actually another belonging to the APSRTC also caught flames but thanks to alert passengers and driver a tragedy was avoided) is mainly due to bad driving as was found in the case of the two Volvos that claimed lives and bad/lack of maintenance in the case of the APSRTC bus that was reduced to its skeleton despite no loss of lives. I have seen that APSRTC Garuda buses are so badly maintained and electricals are tampered with to put extra headlamps, it is just a miracle that they are not catching fires everyday. So the sum total of what I want to say is that the reasons for a Volvo catching fire could be a myriad of them, sometimes stand alone and at other times in conjunction with other reasons and we have a deadly potpourri that takes lives.

So the blame ultimately lies with the operators/users rather than the manufacturer. Of this you can be sure.
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Old 18th November 2013, 00:17   #26
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

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Originally Posted by sadsack View Post
Volvo buses are not unsafe, nor or they prone to fire specifically unlike other buses. It could be a question worth considering if the buses were combusting spontaneously or if they are found to have doors that do not open even when the bus has not met with an accident
I don't know why Volvos are still running without them being recalled to be investigated or atleast grounded. Imagine, if the same number of People had died in a train accident, the opposition would have cried for the Railway Minister's head

There is something wrong with the latest Volvos, having 2 types of accidents that are similar to each-other is not a co-incidence, if People were to die for every driver error made, then the world would be empty by now, the point is, driver error should not result in death, except in rare cases, how many near misses we have while driving on the road, we learn our lessons, brush off the tension and drive on

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Old 18th November 2013, 04:19   #27
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

Even in small Mahindra vans, there are dedicated emergency exit windows, so where are they in these Volvos?

If anybody knows the layout of the Volvo buses, or have access to the safety video that we were talking about, can they please post it here?
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:06   #28
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

On a related note, here's a video that demonstrates the precision and directional stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering



One more:


Last edited by Warwithwheels : 18th November 2013 at 16:13.
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Old 12th December 2013, 23:20   #29
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Default Re: Are Volvo Buses unsafe? Prone to fire?

The preliminary report been submitted to the government for the recent Vovlo bus fires. The Committee that went into the causative factors for the two very recent Volvo bus accidents was comprised officials from the Accident Data Analysis Centre (ADAC) of National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP). The report said three plastic fuel tanks of the buses fitted in each case were close to the body. It suspects that the fire could have been caused due to sparking/friction caused when the metal body hit concrete culverts.The lack of proper emergency exits, the inflammable seats and wooden floors were also to be blamed.The speeds were found to be in the region of 80 kmph, saying it might have exceeded this figure too at times. The roads were also blamed for lack of signboards, faulty road design and so on.

The link:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiati...ank-metal-body

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Old 12th December 2013, 23:35   #30
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The Volvo buses in recent time with fatalities. You can not seriously blame the driver and operator. The same operator runs other brand of buses as well. This is not the first bus accident in the country, but the first to happen this way. Fuel tanks of Indian manufacturers do not burst on minor impact like a bomb, consuming the whole bus in minutes. In the other case where the bus rubbed it's side on a culvert, the trank blew.

Sorry to say but Volvo bus has lost my trust. These are aging dangerously. Have become ticking time bombs.
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