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Old 22nd October 2008, 11:32   #1
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Question General Driving attitude of Mumbai BEST Drivers - Question?

This happened to my Mamaji on 17th Oct 08, Fri eve, somewhere near the J.J Flyover (VT/CST Area).

Mamu was chauffered back from Nariman Point, in his Verna VTVT XXi Trim (No ABS). There are 2 FIAT taxi's ahead and they both slam the brakes for some reason. Driver also slams with full force and AVOIDS a pile up.

Now - a BEST (oh no!!) bus is not able to stop on time and RAMS into the Verna and picks it up and rams the Verna into the 1st Taxi, and in turn, the 1st into the 2nd Taxi - PILEUP!!

Driver saab' gets a nasty spinal sprain, climbs out to see the damages (front+rear). Mamu, knocked out cold for a second, coz he was 1st thrown front - bangs into rear of the co-drivers seat, gets a concussion, and then thrown backwards @ same speed bcoz the BEST throws the Verna ahead and that impact of hitting the Taxi throws mamaji again into the front seat. - Time Taken - 2-3 Seconds!!

NOTE -- I agree Mamaji wasnt wearing seatbelt - BAD Lesson Learnt!! (Dont worry - Both driver uncle and Mamaji Ok as of today)

When the 2 taxi drivers and my driver uncle are on the road- viewing the damages - The Hero' BEST driver (as seen by my Limping Mamaji) is cool and on his seat still, engine idling - waiting for the mess to clear as if nothing happened.

Ending - All 3 car drivers shake their head - all 3 JUST walk(drive) off... to their respective homes. Mamaji and driver uncle checks into a Mulund hospital, primary signs ok, calls up Insurance guys and fix a appointment for a weekend service meeting.

-------------Question-------------

1) Do all BEST drivers have this 'so what' - 'clear my way' attitude?
2) Is it the best way to live in this country? Clearly nor my Mama nor the driver saab cared a DAMN about raising a hue and cry for the bashed-up Verna - both are back on the road (of course not 2day bcoz of the riots in mumbai)
3) Even the poor Taxi drivers - did not care a damn about fighting/asking for money amongst each other?

All this is unheard of in the bangalore (@ least) - where a simple thing such as touching the next's car's ORVM and folding it the other way - can get you killed!!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 11:45   #2
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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
The Hero' BEST driver (as seen by my Limping Mamaji) is cool and on his seat still, engine idling - waiting for the mess to clear as if nothing happened.

-------------Question-------------

1) Do all BEST drivers have this 'so what' - 'clear my way' attitude?

There's a reason the driver will never get out of the bus.

According to the law, if someone hits a bus driver while he is in the bus, it amounts to assault on a public servant and attracts heavy penalties. So as long as he is in the bus and you touch him, you are likely to face severe charges, but once he gets off the bus, he becomes a "civilian" and looses the backing of the state and union.

I have witnessed numerous BEST bus accidents and have been in one myself, and the driver will never get off the seat, however much you taunt and abuse him.

What you can do is write a letter to the BEST giving details of the accident mentioning time, place and bus and route number.

They will put a mark against the driver and believe me the drivers are really scared of being blacklisted. They loose bonus and chances of promotion, etc. All merit points get wiped off and they have to start afresh.

Hope i have answered your query. Your thread should have been titled "Why don't BEST drivers get off the bus after accidents" and not about mumbai driver's attitude in general.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:34   #3
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Hi Tejas - Very Very valid point you wrote here...

But I did not mean any harm - I was actually on 1 hand trying to highlight how stressfree - accidents can be made. All you walk away with is a bruised limb and a car - Not your Ego. I never said anything about 'good' or 'bad' attitude - but questioned the general attitude itself. Even our driver did not care to fight about it - nor did the taxi wallas.

i guess there is so little time in a days' time for mumbaikars - there is not a second to spare!!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:05   #4
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Ah now I finally know why even bus drivers in Bangalore never get down from the bus.

Edit: But don't these guys have somebody to answer to?

Last edited by vikram_d : 22nd October 2008 at 13:09.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
There's a reason the driver will never get out of the bus.

According to the law, if someone hits a bus driver while he is in the bus, it amounts to assault on a public servant and attracts heavy penalties. So as long as he is in the bus and you touch him, you are likely to face severe charges, but once he gets off the bus, he becomes a "civilian" and looses the backing of the state and union.

I have witnessed numerous BEST bus accidents and have been in one myself, and the driver will never get off the seat, however much you taunt and abuse him.

What you can do is write a letter to the BEST giving details of the accident mentioning time, place and bus and route number.

They will put a mark against the driver and believe me the drivers are really scared of being blacklisted. They loose bonus and chances of promotion, etc. All merit points get wiped off and they have to start afresh.
Thanks for the info, I wasnt aware about them not getting down etc.

I also read that if a BEST' right front hits anyone then only the bus driver will be held responsible rest any part of the bus hits or scrapes, they are not responsible.

Once traveling in the bus, at Siddhivinayak Temple, a taxi driver stopped in the third lane right at the turning of the road which goes to Worli. Bus driver nicely scrapes along the taxi. Gives him few abuses and leaves. Few meters later at Prabhadevi bus stop, the taxi guy comes and argues and abuses the bus driver. This guy nicely switches off the buss and sits. The taxi driver even climbed up to hit him but didnt.

Also, when BEST buses are turning make sure you are not in the adjacent lane or else that side of your car is history.

While driving in Mumbai, I follow few rules, one of them is:
Never take panga with BEST and Speed Post guys.
We might satisfy our ego but if something goes wrong we pay a price for that.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:43   #6
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Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Ah now I finally know why even bus drivers in Bangalore never get down from the bus.
Vikram here in Bangalore the BMTC driver gets pulled out even if he doesn't want to . I personally witnessed a traffic pile caused by a BMTC driver rite in front of my apartment. The driver was questioned by a few people and then thrashed for his annoying response and attitude.

In the melee two other BMTC drivers who came on to support him also faced the brunt of the public. Lesson learnt and am sure these 3 drivers will think twice before they next try to be on the right side of the two way road.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:46   #7
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Well there are exceptions to every rule of course. What I was trying to say was that they by default will not get down. Pulling them down is another story all together.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 14:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
According to the law, if someone hits a bus driver while he is in the bus, it amounts to assault on a public servant and attracts heavy penalties. So as long as he is in the bus and you touch him, you are likely to face severe charges, but once he gets off the bus, he becomes a "civilian" and looses the backing of the state and union.
As long as he is on duty & within working hours, he is still a public servant. He does not have to sit inside the bus.

This is pure arrogance.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 14:22   #9
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As long as he is on duty & within working hours, he is still a public servant. He does not have to sit inside the bus.

This is pure arrogance.
No. that's not true. Once when a bus had banged my car, i had gone to very high levels at the BEST and police to see what action i can take and why didn't the bus driver even get down to inspect the damage. That's when they gave me this answer.

Since BEST is technically not a government organization but does a service for them, their drivers are protected only in the bus. Weird but true.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 14:34   #10
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No. that's not true. Once when a bus had banged my car, .
ok, now i can see where the statements came from... must have been a very bad experience!! What did you do after the incident? abuse the driver, or just drive off to complain in a different place?
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post

According to the law, if someone hits a bus driver while he is in the bus, it amounts to assault on a public servant and attracts heavy penalties. So as long as he is in the bus and you touch him, you are likely to face severe charges, but once he gets off the bus, he becomes a "civilian" and looses the backing of the state and union.
That sounds like something straight out of the Yes Minister series! If that law indeed exists, then no one on the road at the time would be aware of it. My theory about why the bus drivers stay nonchalantly inside the bus is their attitude and the traffic police letting them get away with it which causes their attitude in the first place.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:23   #12
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ok, now i can see where the statements came from... must have been a very bad experience!! What did you do after the incident? abuse the driver, or just drive off to complain in a different place?
You know how it is ya... it has a small scratch and dent. I was whiplashed by a bus and when its not your fault, you know how aggressive we can get!

So this was the sequence of events:
i got whiplashed and the bus drove away as if nothing happened. So i followed him, stopped in front of him, got down, finished my vocabulary of bad words on him. I think he was deaf since he didn't respond. By that time a traffic cop came and said nothing can be done. So i took the driver's batch number and went to the depot. The driver and conductor pleaded with me not to give anything in writing. However, i gave a written complaint.
I approached a traffic ACP and he told me cops can't do anything, but a written complaint to BEST can work wonders.
After a few days i approached the GM of BEST to find out what can be done. He was a patient man and explained to me in detail what happens to the driver after a complaint. That satisfied me, that atleast even the driver will be penalized and then i left.

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...the traffic police letting them get away with it which causes their attitude in the first place.
I have many times observed traffic cops getting damn strict with BEST drivers. Once i saw a traffic cop stop a bus and tell the driver that next time he catches him breaking a signal, he will make him wait for 20 minutes so that the delay reflects in his record and will also submit a police notification to the BEST.

Basically, cops can't do much to the drivers on the spot because it delays passengers and they have a long procedure if they want to send a notification to the BEST!

Note from the Team-BHP Support Staff : Please use the "edit" button if posting within 15 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post

Also use "Multi Quote" option for quoting Multiple posts.

Last edited by Technocrat : 22nd October 2008 at 16:28. Reason: see note in post
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Old 22nd October 2008, 16:05   #13
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After a few days i approached the GM of BEST to find out what can be done. He was a patient man and explained to me in detail what happens to the driver after a complaint. That satisfied me, that atleast even the driver will be penalized and then i left.
Yes, thats my take too... @ least reprimand someone with a minimal act - so that they at least remember not to do it the next time. No one has a intention to ruin the driver's career and family, but all would like to instill that he is not above the law, and a small courtesy helps heals more than the dent and the cut caused by sheer carelessness.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 16:45   #14
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Yes, thats my take too... @ least reprimand someone with a minimal act - so that they at least remember not to do it the next time. No one has a intention to ruin the driver's career and family, but all would like to instill that he is not above the law, and a small courtesy helps heals more than the dent and the cut caused by sheer carelessness.
This what i was told about how BEST operates with regards to drivers:

- they get points for being punctual over a fixed period of time

- they can earn lot of points and get pay hikes for an accident and complaint free year

- they get a reprimand if someone complains about not stopping at bus stops or overshooting one

- an 'X' number of reprimands results in deletion of points

- if an accident happens, and the person at fault is not determined (car or bus driver - as happens in most cases - everyone thinks they are right) then he looses points for the year

- if a traffic notice (by the police) is served against the driver for an 'X' number of times, he looses all points collected from all years and has to start afresh

- knocking someone down and/or deaths results in suspension and enquiry.

The GM may be feeding me a load of crap so that i calm down, but i tend to believe him.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 22nd October 2008 at 16:47.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 17:20   #15
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Well Tejas this is true. You can complain against the conductors of BEST too in he doesnt stop at a particular stop. Once my rommie had the conductor begging him not to complain due to this point system.
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