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Old 1st February 2011, 13:35   #1
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Angry The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Hi guys, I couldn't find a similar thread, so I'm posting this thread, to discuss about the menace the BMTC (For those who don't know, Bangalore's city bus) drivers are. I know this has been talked about before, but why not have a dedicated thread for these guys?
I've had enough of these guys, and the way they bully other vehicles on the road. Here are some of their antics I see on road, everyday:
1) In the early morning they jump red lights.
2) At the Lalbagh roundabout, they don't really slow down, and often cut through the intersection at unsafe speeds.
3) Near the Banashankari gate of Lalbagh ( which directly leads to the lake), when it is red, they sometimes tend to jump the line and go on the other side of the road, meant for vehicles coming in the opposite direction, and create a mess.
4) At some particular junctions (on 3 laned roads), when they need to turn right, they don't change over to the right, or at least middle lane, instead, remain in the left most lane, and suddenly cut through the the width of the road and turn right, nearly smashing into other vehicles, blocking their path and creating a lot of confusion. Of my my cars was almost hit by one such bus.
5) They find utmost pleasure in blocking the left lane, i.e: When the have to proceed straight, they jump the Que, by using the left lane when the signal turns red. And then, when the green left arrow appears on the signal (and it remains red for going straight), they block all the vehicles that need to go less. They do it all the time.
6) The stop anywhere they like, and veer very close to other vehicles.
7) To add to this, they seem to be an unruly lot from what I read here, as well as personal experience.
8) In all, they don't find it a shame to break traffic rules. A couple of days ago, one shot out of nowhere coming in the opposite side of a one way!
And more....

Well, these are our problems and there must be solutions for them.
During the recent interaction with Mr Sood, the Addl. Commissioner of Traffic Police, at the office of "The Hindu" by 30 invitees (reader who had wrote in) including me, when a few of these questions were raised, including "Why can't these buses be stopped and fined at the spot?", Mr Sood's reply was that if buses were stopped, the passengers would have to suffer, and the roads would get blocked. He claims he sends notices to the BMTC, and fines are deducted from the drivers' salaries, and that Rs 20lakh was raised last year. I highly doubt this. If this was the case, why do I notice a minimum of 2 dozen (generally more) infractions by these guys every 1/2 an hour of my being on the road?? If their salaries were being cut, they would surely go home without being paid a paisa, looking at their on - road behavior. As TBHPian Ram told me, this is just ridiculous! If they are fined on the spot, for say, one week, they will face the brunt of their passengers and other motorists, and only then will they stop doing this nonsense. (More about the interaction, and Mr Sood's replies, including some part of what I asked and my photo can be seen in y'day's The Hindu)

What is being done? Little? Or should I say nothing at all?
Now, what is our plight in Bangalore, and what's the way out? I can't figure out.

Last edited by Arkin evoisrevo : 1st February 2011 at 13:39.
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Old 1st February 2011, 18:25   #2
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

In this video, many BMTC bus drivers have been exposed.

EDIT: Other parts of the video:



Last edited by Arkin evoisrevo : 1st February 2011 at 18:33.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 09:56   #3
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Snapped these today:
1) Huge bus stopping too close to my little 800's back.
2) Buses bunking red signal.

I had tense moments today when one bus veered towards my maruti in such a way that the distance between my Maruti and the bus was just 15-20 cm.
Attached Images
  
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:10   #4
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Nothing to do with BMTC specifically. The problems you have mentioned are generic to traffic indiscipline, unfortunately BMTC/KSRTC gets singled out (even in the media) due to their high visibility- compared to autorickshaws, for instance.

Speaking for myself, I have been successfully able to tweak my car driving habits for the better after watching Volvo BMTC drivers carefully during my daily Volvo rides - they always seem to be calm and unhurried.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:17   #5
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Yesterday evening I stopped on Kundalahalli gate signal as I was going towards Marthahalli. Signal turned red and I stopped completely and I was first in the queue.

I saw one 335E BMTC Volvo came from my left side and took right turn towards Marthahalli when the light was completely RED. There were 3 - 4 policeman standing towards opposite side of road and they all were turned blind and there was no reaction from them.

If such a huge bus breaking normal traffic rules how we all citizens are safe on road?

My weird question is "Is the traffic laws applicable to BMTC buses and its drivers or not?"

Last edited by anujmishra : 2nd February 2011 at 11:18.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:37   #6
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

At the start of the Elevated flyover you can witness a curious phenomenon. All the Buses and Autos and cars will be on right hand side of the road which leads from SilkBoard towards Hosur. And needless to say there will be a huge jam. But once you somehow crawl through and reach the entrance of Elevated flyover, what you see???
All those big buses taking a nice almost 90 degree left cut to avoid the flyover start and to merge into the main road.

Its all about lack of discipline. BTMC and others included.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 12:16   #7
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Nothing to do with BMTC specifically. The problems you have mentioned are generic to traffic indiscipline, unfortunately BMTC/KSRTC gets singled out (even in the media) due to their high visibility- compared to autorickshaws, for instance.
But the catch here is, forget other vehicles on the road, and private buses, when BMTC bus drivers, who belong to the govt. and should be doing the public service, breach traffic rules, and the upholders of the law, i.e - the traffic police, don't do much about it, how can you expect other road users, who are not directly in the govt.'s control, to drive sensibly?

Speaking for myself, I have been successfully able to tweak my car driving habits for the better after watching Volvo BMTC drivers carefully during my daily Volvo rides - they always seem to be calm and unhurried.

Well, this is completely the opposite of what many people and me have observed. Yes, when I was new to Bangalore and used to travel in Volvos, I felt the drivers were very professional. But once I got used to the city and started observing traffic sitting in my car, the reality is exposed. As in the Videos I posted and the pic I took today, they are the 1st to jump red signals, so one can't really say they are calm and unhurried.
(Response in bold)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
If such a huge bus breaking normal traffic rules how we all citizens are safe on road?

My weird question is "Is the traffic laws applicable to BMTC buses and its drivers or not?"
You just hit the nail straight on the wall. The BMTC drivers being public servants should be setting an example for other road users.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 12:16   #8
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

I don't think we should always blame BMTC drivers for all accidents. These guys have to drive their junk buses through the traffic for 4 hours straight. Then they have to reach certain bus stations on time, or else they are fined by BMTC itself. Some of the BMTC buses have either no or too small ORVMs, which only increases the blind spot range.

If you notice, the drivers of the buses with automatic transmission (Marco Polo, Volvo) are much saner than the drivers of junk buses.

How can BMTC solve these problems? Perhaps by these additional measures:
- replace aging manual transmision buses with automatic transmission ones, which are more comfortable to drive and are comfortable for the drivers to sit
- when drivers are being trained by BMTC, stress more on lane discipline and bus stops, rather than on controlling the gears, clutch and steering wheel (which the drivers would have learnt before joining BMTC training anyway)
- reduce the shifts of the drivers, or provide better resting facilities in other bus stations too (not only in Majestic)
- force the government to improve the infrastructure (fixing of potholes, installation of signal lights and removal of speed-breakers)

BMTC, probably being the only profit making state-owned transport corporation, can surely spend some money for the welfare of their crew.

Perhaps, like they do in US cop cars, how about installing a camera at the front of the bus? It's a bit too much to ask for, I guess :-D
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Old 2nd February 2011, 12:29   #9
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
I don't think we should always blame BMTC drivers for all accidents. These guys have to drive their junk buses through the traffic for 4 hours straight.
If that was the case, one shouldn't blame auto drivers for driving rashly, indulging in violence and road rage, refusing to go on hire and as per the meter, just because they are exposed to the open heat, smoke and pollution all the time, nor blame taxi drivers because of their long, tiring shifts and office goers, because they have pressure at work.When a poor man commits murders and robberies, one can't justify it, right?

But yes, your points are completely valid, and I myself feel sorry for these guys and hope the govt. wakes up soon.

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Old 2nd February 2011, 12:55   #10
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

A couple of days back there was a list of offences registered against BMTC drivers. In a month or two, there were close to thousand cases. They are being fined.

One police officer did say that they are doing it but they don't stop them then and there because it causes inconvenience to passengers and others on the road.

Some old links to their antics:

BMTC buses no longer king of road - The Times of India

Traffic police tips drive BMTC to safety
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Old 2nd February 2011, 14:25   #11
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

BMTC drivers are pretty rash, but i also see some improvement in the last few years. I primarily travel along ORR and Whitefield, and because of the wider roads i think they drive more sensibly.

However, Volvo's are mistreated heavily. I see them being driven very rash, drive over deep potholes/uneven roads (and that too so easily because of the power), and stop at random locations to pick up passengers.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 14:48   #12
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkin evoisrevo View Post
If that was the case, one shouldn't blame auto drivers for driving rashly, indulging in violence and road rage, refusing to go on hire and as per the meter, just because they are exposed to the open heat, smoke and pollution all the time, nor blame taxi drivers because of their long, tiring shifts and office goers, because they have pressure at work.When a poor man commits murders and robberies, one can't justify it, right?

But yes, your points are completely valid, and I myself feel sorry for these guys and hope the govt. wakes up soon.

Of course, I didn't mean that all BMTC drivers should be given clean chit.
About rickshaws, the bigger question is, how to correct them?

BMTC at least has a big boss, who has been working towards improving his organization. If our government supports him a bit more, and if he is willing, he can further improve the public transport scene of the city!

In India, the drivers are considered cheap labourers, be it a truck driver or a bus driver a taxi driver. He is given the least of the comforts to do his job. Fortunately, BMTC is treating its crew in a better way.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 14:53   #13
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
A couple of days back there was a list of offences registered against BMTC drivers. In a month or two, there were close to thousand cases. They are being fined.

One police officer did say that they are doing it but they don't stop them then and there because it causes inconvenience to passengers and others on the road.

Some old links to their antics:

BMTC buses no longer king of road - The Times of India

Traffic police tips drive BMTC to safety
As I said in my original post, unless they are spot fined, they will not be heckled by their passengers, and thus, won't mend their ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkin evoisrevo View Post

......... If their salaries were being cut, they would surely go home without being p.aid a paisa, looking at their on - road behavior. As TBHPian Ram told me, this is just ridiculous! If they are fined on the spot, for say, one week, they will face the brunt of their passengers and other motorists, and only then will they stop doing this nonsense. ..................[/i])

@Rohan: Only when the police wake up and fine these auto drivers, and not just be mute spectators, we will have sighs of relief.

Last edited by Arkin evoisrevo : 2nd February 2011 at 15:02.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:07   #14
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

Stay away from BMTC buses. You can expect drunk BMTC drivers on duty as well...
One of my friends literally thrashed one BMTC driver black and blue for side-swiping his car while stopped at a traffic signal. While the matter of assaulting an on-duty government servant is in court, it is almost certain that the BMTC driver will lose his job since he was drunk too (proven with blood test reports taken immediately due to injuries).

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 2nd February 2011 at 15:10.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:10   #15
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Default Re: The Antics of BMTC's Bus drivers, and what's being done to curb them

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Originally Posted by Arkin evoisrevo View Post
@Rohan: Only when the police wake up and fine these auto drivers, and not just be mute spectators, we will have sighs of relief.
This is not going to happen in Bangalore as the cops too are scared of the auto unions. I remember a few years back when a prepaid auto counter was opened in Bangalore and it failed miserably as very few of the auto guys turned up for it. The cops couldn't do a thing.

Regarding the BMTC drivers, I hate when they stop in the middle of a narrow road to pickup or drop passengers and blocking the traffic for all the people behind them. They can as well stop a bit to the left of the road and not interrupt the traffic flow, but they stop bang in the middle of the road so that only 2 wheelers can pass them. This happens all the time in Marathahalli on the old airport road near the bridge as well as near the marathahalli market.
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