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Old 17th November 2013, 10:06   #121
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by sumannandy View Post
First of all, a bus hitting divider - its the fault of the driver. Why that happens - overspeeding, driver fatigue - anybody's guess, but its driver's fault.

Then, a bus catching fire after hitting divider - a design fault. As somebody rightly pointed out, there are so many cars getting hit, rolled over, but never catch fire. Why would a Volvo? It does not matter whether Volvo has a great safety record in some country. Fact is, when hit on to a divider, it catches fire which it should not. Where is all those crash test?

After market modifications? Think about it. Operator installed additional seat. Yes, it may block the exit, but the bus catching fire because of that? Please, the bus did not catch fire because of an extra seat or some curtains installed. Bus operators would not play with the core design and here it seems the problem is the fuel tank exploding and bus catching fire, which is obviously not due to any modification.
While it might seem like a bash-volvo discussion here, it actually is not. A spur of accidents where the bus goes up in flames due to am impact to the fuel tank is definitely a cause of concern. It is rather surprising that officials at volvo and many other keep talking about Volvo being a benchmark in safety - but the fact is there have been disastrous accidents in the recent past and I would expect Volvo to talk about some of the actions they are taking or planning to take - it could be suggesting proposals, safety tips etc. While the machines are one thing the people who operate these machines are equally capable of causing these disasters. I just got back from Hyderabad this morning in an ac sleeper non-volvo (AL). These buses would have been equally dangerous in the case of an eventuality. This specific bus did Bangalore in 8 hours with a dinner and diesel break which i thought was fairly quick for a non-volvo. Like I said in one of my earlier posts, this is not the only operator who came this quick, everyone leaves and reaches around the same time. The speed at which these capable machines are driven coupled with some in-sensible driving makes these loose-canons on the highways which could cause mass-scale disasters anytime. This problem is not just for one constituency to solve. Instead, it should be the civic authorities, the law makers, the drivers and the travel company to solve this problem collectively. Somewhere we as users of this service also need to play a role. Like last night i overheard the driver bragging to one-curious passenger about how fast this bus goes and is comparable with the B9Rs. I intervened and told him to keep safety as priority and then calibrate the time around it. Driving fast is no big deal but driving sensibly is.
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Old 17th November 2013, 10:08   #122
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I had seen this video earlier and my comments were deleted Can't help laughing at the moron who took this video and instead of showing this dangerous driving to the RTO , he was instead trying to glorify this driver for all the close calls they had.
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Old 17th November 2013, 10:23   #123
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by pdiddy741 View Post
Also, some points I've noticed on this thread:

1) Buses leaving late and arriving on time is a competition

Sure, every passenger wants the bus to arrive on time. However, it is not the drivers who are to blame for buses leaving late. Given my residential location, I always board Volvos at source. And at source, every volvo, from every operator is ALWAYS dot on time. But as the bus progresses through the city, passengers are never on time. The bus needs to wait for these passengers to arrive and hence gets late. If one sits in front and listens to the phone conversations of the driver/co-driver, one would realise how stressful it is to call up every late passenger, inform him or her that the bus is waiting for them, at times even give directions to the passenger to the boarding point. All these factors are what actually delay a bus.

On one trip, a passenger actually called up the driver and said that he would not be able to board the bus as he had some work that day, and said he would come the next day. The driver said its not posible because his reservation is for today. There was a 10 minute fight about this. Obviously if you have a reservation for today, you cannot board the bus the next day. Such fools don't make the driver's task any easier.
Should operators indulge in " customer service" to such a ridiculous extent and end up inconveniencing almost all other passengers??? This is new trend which is catching up. If you are late you miss the bus - hard luck and next time he/she will make sure about being punctual. Exceptions like heavy rain, hartals etc are different but not just because some one is too lazy to come on time. Will these people get away with it on flights.??? Almost all the time the answer is no. There is a reson for it as well. In many cases a delay in take off means loosing your take off or landing "slot" and this causes major delays which is big money!! Unlike the bus operators where most of the operators do not have any duty time limitations , most countries have legislation limiting the amount of hours an airline crew can fly and interestingly this starts from the time they report to work and not from the time when they get on board the aircraft.

I dont know why bus operators are pressurising drivers to wait for delayed passengers for no rhyme or reason. It also makes life hell for people waiting enroute at places like Angamaly or Trichur for buses starting in Trivandrum or Kollam as by the time everyone takes their own sweet time to board and settle down, buses reaches these last boparding points delayed by 1 to 2 hours.

Blaming the passengers for delays and subsequent overspeeding by drivers is ridiculous. Have the guts to leave on time and make it safe for the rest rather than pampering to a few spoilt passengers who behave as if they own the company! And then do not start blaming the manufacturers or your passengers for accidents mostly brought on by the operators own inefficiencies.
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Old 17th November 2013, 10:50   #124
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post

Blaming the passengers for delays and subsequent overspeeding by drivers is ridiculous. Have the guts to leave on time and make it safe for the rest rather than pampering to a few spoilt passengers who behave as if they own the company! And then do not start blaming the manufacturers or your passengers for accidents mostly brought on by the operators own inefficiencies.
I truly second your opinions. Inconveniencing the entire bus for a couple of passengers is foolish. Of course, these operators never learn
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Old 17th November 2013, 17:33   #125
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

My wife was travelling from cochin to bangalore yesterday on a KALLADA TRAVELS Multiaxle volvo. Somewhere out of Cochin on the double road NH, this bus was overtaking another NATIONAL TRAVELS VOLVO when both the buses touched each other and had a accident. My wife says her bus hit the divider, the right side lifted up and the bus titled to the left. then she does not know what happened, but this bus did a U turn, went over the service road divider on the left of the road, stopped on the service road facing Cochin direction.

Some passengers in both the buses had bruises, and had them treated at a hospital right in front of the accident site (Lucky) while both the drivers argued for over 1.5 hours. Then the same bus proceeded to Bangalore. Now the point for concern, inspite of all this, this bus reached bangalore at 6am, as per schedule time. Now one can just imagine the driver's careless attitude, inspite of just going through an accident, he still drove like a maniac to make up for lost time.
Now coming back to the larger issue, i feel that yes, these buses have to have their top speed governed to say 100khph. This will ensure that some of the major accidents are avoided. Drivers have to be trained and buses tracked by GPS so that operators can find out when buses make unscheduled stops/ deviatons from route which leads to drivers overspeeding trying to make up lost time. From the manufacturers side, they have to ensure the bus does not go up in flames when it hits the divider, they have to relocate the diesel tank. More importantly, another emergency door has to be made on the left side of the bus even if this leads to loosing one seat, somewhere in the middle to ensure passengers have another option to exit the bus. You cant have passangers to jump from the rear window, which is 8 feet in the air. Thirdly, they should play a short video on safety and evacuation at the begining of each trip.
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Old 17th November 2013, 20:00   #126
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Yes I agree the biggest problem with volvo buses is their ability of high speed coupled with the great traffic and road security sense of us Indians. It will be good if their speeds are limited by governer and tracked in real time by operator as well as some govt agencies. It will surely save some lives. These moron bus drivers try to over take vehicles like XUV, AUDI etc which are dynamically much stable than these buses just because the buses can sustain the speeds and in turn endanger the lives of passengers, other road users alike.
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Old 17th November 2013, 20:05   #127
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Just back from 3 back to back Volvo rides between Mumbai and Kolhapur. My journey was on both state run and private Volvo buses, so this is a mixed response for both.

Some pointers that I noticed.

1. Volvo drivers specially the ones driving the bigger buses (multi-axel ones B9R i suppose) are the most bullish sort. Rampant overtaking from wrong sides, getting too close to smaller cars, sudden breakings at short distances, etc are the way they drive. 90% of the overtakes on the NH4 were from the wrong side, They do not wait for the vehicle in front to give side. Also, Loud honking which is very upsetting for smaller vehicles.

2. I found the state run Shivneri drivers more sensible, the driver between Pune and Borivali on the Shivneri was very patient and maintained good lane discipline on the Expressway. I was on the first seat behind the driver on this route and noticed that the bus maintained speeds between 80-90 all the way on the expressway.

I am not saying that all the fault is of the Volvo drivers, we can also look at the possibility of faulty road designs, like on the NH4 there is ongoing road works with very minimal diversion signs. There are no warning boards showing that there is a diversion ahead, all boards are at the site of diversion, forcing the drivers to take last minute turns. I think there should be mandatory board warning of diversion ahead at least 500 meters in advance. Things are pretty bad during the night as most of the boards are not illuminated, only crudely painted on metal sheets.
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Old 17th November 2013, 21:13   #128
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by techfreak View Post
Yes I agree the biggest problem with volvo buses is their ability of high speed coupled with the great traffic and road security sense of us Indians. It will be good if their speeds are limited by governer and tracked in real time by operator as well as some govt agencies. It will surely save some lives. These moron bus drivers try to over take vehicles like XUV, AUDI etc which are dynamically much stable than these buses just because the buses can sustain the speeds and in turn endanger the lives of passengers, other road users alike.
The problem is with these owners of the operators who do pressurize the drivers from getting late and keeping the speed high. Yes the drivers are also a source of problem with bad driving.

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
1. Volvo drivers specially the ones driving the bigger buses (multi-axel ones B9R i suppose) are the most bullish sort. Rampant overtaking from wrong sides, getting too close to smaller cars, sudden breakings at short distances, etc are the way they drive. 90% of the overtakes on the NH4 were from the wrong side, They do not wait for the vehicle in front to give side. Also, Loud honking which is very upsetting for smaller vehicles.
I agree. The honking increases with speed and once the bus is at 100 kmph the driver hold the horn continuously and overtake. It is a bit irritating as a passenger. But the worst part is no passenger complains of the high speed. The only question the passengers ask the driver is When will it reach the destination?!

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
2. I found the state run Shivneri drivers more sensible, the driver between Pune and Borivali on the Shivneri was very patient and maintained good lane discipline on the Expressway. I was on the first seat behind the driver on this route and noticed that the bus maintained speeds between 80-90 all the way on the expressway.
There are exceptions everywhere!

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
I am not saying that all the fault is of the Volvo drivers, we can also look at the possibility of faulty road designs, like on the NH4 there is ongoing road works with very minimal diversion signs. There are no warning boards showing that there is a diversion ahead, all boards are at the site of diversion, forcing the drivers to take last minute turns. I think there should be mandatory board warning of diversion ahead at least 500 meters in advance. Things are pretty bad during the night as most of the boards are not illuminated, only crudely painted on metal sheets.
If the warning boards are 500 meters away our buses and lorries will keep bumping into it while overtaking. As road maintenance is in progress the speed must be low and if possible speed breakers must be placed where man movement is heavy to avoid any nasty accident.

Anurag.
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Old 18th November 2013, 00:01   #129
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Hi, after reading muliple posts and seeing that many our targeting volvo, i felt the need to jump in. Just a brief about me, i (used) to work in bangalore until about a week ago, and based out of pune. I travel frequently by the volvo buses and have experienced rash driving countless times. The recent accidents that were caused where the bus burst into flames was definitely something more sinister, But i do not want to comment on that as i dont have all the facts. although something i have seen with my own eyes is when these buses load illegal cargo in the cargo bay area is troublesome. I have seen the entire cargo area filled with industrial chemical cans on another bus while i was waiting in mine. Some of the tour operators are so bad, that arguing with them is just no point. They are often rude to begin with and do not show any respect for their passengers. Its almost as they are doing us a favor by taking us along. Some of the tour operators who do this kinda stuff are National Travels, Jabbar Travels, GeePee and even Neeta. These rip on the highways like they are on a racetrack. Honking continiously, abusing drivers of other vehicles for not moving over and stuff like that. I don't believe this is a volvo issue on the contrary its these rampant tour operators who have been flouting the law. I pretty sure this investigation is not gonna reveal the truth why the bus actually caught fire, but this should be a wake up call for authorities to do their job and catch such culprits.
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Old 18th November 2013, 08:37   #130
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Red face re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Post this incident, read in the papers and saw in the news that MSRTC has decided to limit the speed limits of the state run Shivneri buses to 85 kmph esp on the Pune E-ways.

I have seen some real rash driving by the Shivneri Volvos on the Pune E-way with speeds touching 100+ kmph and competing with the SUV's/Sedans on the roads. They dominate the fast lane and dont budge that easily. Even on the hair pin bends the entire bus literally felt as if it would topple.

Whatever happened to the compulsory speed governors on the hevay vehicles which was supposed to be implemented rigourously.
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Old 18th November 2013, 11:30   #131
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by nofear5611 View Post
The recent accidents that were caused where the bus burst into flames was definitely something more sinister, But i do not want to comment on that as i dont have all the facts. although something i have seen with my own eyes is when these buses load illegal cargo in the cargo bay area is troublesome. I have seen the entire cargo area filled with industrial chemical cans on another bus while i was waiting in mine. Some of the tour operators are so bad, that arguing with them is just no point. They are often rude to begin with and do not show any respect for their passengers. Its almost as they are doing us a favor by taking us along. Some of the tour operators who do this kinda stuff are National Travels, Jabbar Travels, GeePee and even Neeta. These rip on the highways like they are on a racetrack. Honking continiously, abusing drivers of other vehicles for not moving over and stuff like that. I don't believe this is a volvo issue on the contrary its these rampant tour operators who have been flouting the law. I pretty sure this investigation is not gonna reveal the truth why the bus actually caught fire, but this should be a wake up call for authorities to do their job and catch such culprits.
Exactly nofear, this was what I missed in the whole list of replies and was about to ask this question and here you have it pointed out. There are no logs of what they take in the cargo (atleast for official records), as far as they get money, they take whatever they are able to and overload too during peak seasons. If the authorities concerned are not going to look into this, they can never get any clue of why a similar back to back incidents have taken place. Haven't we seen so many trucks upside down on the highways and with diesel tank being prominent, why didn't those vehicles catch fire? Anyways nothing is going to change, whatever it is, the bus operators will do anything to get themselves out of this. How many people remember the KPN bus accident between Chennai and Bangalore not very long ago, it was in Jun 2011, where 21 people were burnt to death? No issues whatsoever and people forget and the travels still move on and even now, they do not go slow, I have personally experienced them and from then on have started to go in government buses if I have to go to only because of the fact that they have speed governors.

Many have said, why can't people go and ask drivers? I used to travel between Hyderabad and Bangalore between 2006 and 2007 and the volvo which I used to come in used to have high AC and high speed. I have many times gone to the driver and have requested to reduce the AC level, not only me, I have seen many requesting for the same, but they will never do it, they say that they know everything. So even if you are going to go and complain about speeding, they would bluntly say that we have to reach on time and I have seen them answer this as well, so the case would not be any different now. Sometimes even if we ask them to stop for a break, they would say that it would be late and after going and standing in front of the driver for some 5 minutes, they will stop the bus unwillingly. Some may have a question of why didn't I take other travel operators on the same route? At that time there were mainly 3 or 4 operators, so no one was in anyway different from others.

So, there is no point in talking about the design of fuel tank or anything for that matter. Volvo's are in many ways safer than home grown manufacturers as pointed by someone else too.

This is not to hurt anyone's feeling, but at the end of the day, we need to look into everything before making a point.
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Old 18th November 2013, 12:06   #132
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

I have had very peaceful and quiet as well as very rash inter-state journeys in Volvo B7Rs and B9Rs. I feel that the recent accidents included Volvos just because of the high proportion of Volvos compared to other brands used for inter state travel. But if it's a common problem with the model to have the fuel tank get the impact of a frontal collision, they should seriously consider a design rethink.

Sometimes I have seen people get afraid when the driver manoeuvres(read high speed zig-zags) it through highways. They sometimes make others go out of the tarmac with their high speed attack-attitude. But none inside the bus dares to tell the driver or operator because of many reasons:

1. The drivers/cleaners used to be of very rough/unapproachable behaviour and character. Many times they'll be on Hans/Pan Masala etc. We know how accommodating they become when strengthened by Pan Masala etc.

2. They can argue louder than customers.

3. The travel agencies are equally rough on customers.

4. Even if we tell the operator they won't take any action at all. All they need is to get more people and make more cash, with all kinds of adjustments.

5. Passengers too have a feeling that they're safe inside such big buses, even when the driver is 'flying' the bus frightening others on the road. Some are even proud to be inside the bus going at 130kph.

Travel agencies put pressure on drivers to reach destinations on time. Once I heard a Volvo driver speaking to another about a service from Thiruvananthapuram to Hyderabad. He was telling that even if they start exactly on time, if they don't take the full speed(I mean, >120) whenever possible, they will never reach the destination on time just because the schedule is like that. They were speaking about travelling over the speedometer limits.

As everyone agrees, speed governors should be a must on buses.
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:14   #133
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by nofear5611 View Post
I have seen the entire cargo area filled with industrial chemical cans.
That's really horrible. Many of those chemicals are highly inflammable and they burn at higher temperatures, too. It's not easy to stop the fire either. It can burn the entire bus with all passengers, in a matter of minutes. Noone knows if the bus in which 45 people were burnt had something like that hidden inside which caused the fire to spread quickly and burn the entire bus down.


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Originally Posted by nofear5611 View Post
Some of the tour operators are so bad, that arguing with them is just no point. They are often rude to begin with and do not show any respect for their passengers. Its almost as they are doing us a favor by taking us along. Some of the tour operators who do this kinda stuff are National Travels, Jabbar Travels, GeePee and even Neeta. These rip on the highways like they are on a racetrack. Honking continiously, abusing drivers of other vehicles for not moving over and stuff like that. I don't believe this is a volvo issue on the contrary its these rampant tour operators who have been flouting the law. I pretty sure this investigation is not gonna reveal the truth why the bus actually caught fire, but this should be a wake up call for authorities to do their job and catch such culprits.
Very true!
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:21   #134
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

The way the Public can change this is by voting with their "Wallet" such that Private Bus Operators hear it Load and Clear - "Passenger Safety Matters and cannot be compromised".

The Night Bus is Not for Courier Delivery of Dangerous Goods under or over Passengers.
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Old 18th November 2013, 18:46   #135
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

We as passengers need to share some of the blame too. We either don't protest at all, or submit meekly when intimidated by an unscrupulous operator. I don't suggest a verbal/physical showdown, but it's our safety on the line and we need to be polite but firm about it.

In most cases, it's the other passengers who start protesting first 'against' the rare soul who objects to reckless driving on such buses. Why? Just to reach a few minutes early? What about the day the recklessness & nonchalance finally catches up with you and you don't 'reach' at all?

The whole system needs to change, but we need to change ourselves first. If I'm willing to overlook my own safety to save a few minutes, I have no right to blame the operator who at least openly admits that he's in it only for the profit.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 18th November 2013 at 18:49.
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