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Old 21st November 2019, 08:50   #31
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

Being a Keralite who has spent a considerable time outside india and in kerala and currently working in Gujarat as well as having visited many indian states/cities the following are my observations

1. Kerala's road networks are rubbish. Especially in cities where it's mostly potholes and govt. Denies to do proper repair.
( also kerala pwd is Infamous for digging up freshly nicely paved roads for laying cables etc. and leaving them as such for long periods and then doing shoddy patchwork forever destroying them)
2. Kerala's roads are not capable of handling the number of vehicles playing on it. The explosion of vehicles is uncontrollable.
3. Kerala's drivers are not exactly that bad compared to what I've seen in Gujarat and Delhi. I'm sure that 50% of the drivers I see in Gujarat would be dead if they were exposed to the single lane curvy roads in kerala. Road manners are almost nonexistent in Gujarat. The only reason traffic goes smooth in Gujarat is because of the Amazing road network and well paved 3 lane "highways" almost everywhere where you can actually swerve to avoid accident and not find yourself facing oncoming traffic.
4. Private bus drivers in kerala are insane and ksrtc superfast drivers are bossy and think they are driving a Tank and can bulldoze anyone out of their path.


Whatever actions result in accidents, the biggest cause that pushes drivers to make stupid moves is the single lane- dividerless-badly paved road network. With less or no street lighting along the way and idiots driving with Highbeam on all the time.
Add to that trucks driving at 30kmph where its supposed to be 60kmph and vice versa .
Hot blooded teenagers on KTMs and absolutely insane bus drivers.


If I'm to arrive at conclusion from news, most accidents happen due to overtaking on our single lane roads. This is mainly when smaller cars/or impatient bus drivers try to overtake slow moving drivers or slow trucks which prevent especially small car drivers from seeing what's coming from the other side which forces them to take a gamble.
Simultaneous overtaking (from both directions) where the vehicles from opposing lanes clear each other by mere centimeters is something I see very commonly in kerala.
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Old 21st November 2019, 09:42   #32
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Come to Cochin and see how impatient motorists perilously ignore signal
This change in attitude is a recent development, or should I say, noticed in the last decade or so. Cochin, or the state as a whole was never like this. Road etiquette was quite good. In fact; I have seen more people wear helmets in this state, much before the mandatory rule was in place. They understood the importance and safety behind wearing helmets. Same for the seat belt.

I can't understand the whole rash driving thing though. Everyone is in race mode, all the time. My car driving instructor taught me to challenge everyone on the road, when I was taking lessons. I feel like the State's bus drivers need to be given an opportunity to race their buses on a proper track every once in a while, just to take out their frustrations or craving for speed. Perhaps this will keep them calm when they are driving while on the job.
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Old 21st November 2019, 10:35   #33
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

My hometown is just across the Kerala border in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, so I think I can comment on this. KSRTC buses indeed go like they are on a race for pink slips. It is a known fact in Kanyakumari district that if you need to reach a place on the way to Trivandrum quickly, take the KSRTC bus because it might even be faster than a private car!

Also, whenever we cross the border from Tamil Nadu, there is a visible drop in the standard of driving with high levels of road rage! This is despite the fact that the Kerala side is better policed and the cars driven there are newer, larger and more expensive! I'm indeed perplexed as to what could be the reason!

Of course, Kerala has good emergency services and healthcare which prevents deaths but someone really needs to fix the road problem to prevent the accidents in the first place. And indeed as someone pointed out, the driving in Delhi would be even worse if they had the kind of roads that Kerala has (small and windy)!

PS no offense to any Keralites! Still love your state!

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 22nd November 2019 at 18:43. Reason: Typo.
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Old 21st November 2019, 11:12   #34
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

Had a very strange experience driving through Kerala (on two separate occasions), the buses used to honk loudly if I stopped at red light and quite persistently almost every time. Never understood the meaning and utility of traffic signals installed in Kerala.

May be high human development index creates some kind of extra understanding that red signal means go faster.
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Old 21st November 2019, 11:19   #35
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

Defensive driving is way too alien a concept for many drivers unfortunately. It is absolutely possible to drive for multiple hours with low stress levels, even if you end up being 1/2 an hour or an hour late. People just don't seem to understand that the extra time they save doesn't really justify the higher risk they are exposing themselves to on the road.

But everyone needs to change - and that's where education has to be absolutely important. Most driving instructors ( at the risk of generalising ) dont really have a clue on defensive driving, and the term doesn't even perhaps come up through ones process of getting a license. The wisdom that experienced drivers impart to learners is mostly around how to go one up on the other, how to get your nose in front and cut lanes aggressively, how to use your headlights to get your right of way, how to use horn as a weapon etc. and generations after generations pick up on this behaviour.

Coming to the topic, I think Kerala's primary problem could be its lack of a proper highway for long-distance vehicles to go faster ( except for the Edappally-Walayar stretch - even that has now become so urban with so many exits and signals..). So everyone gets onto the same two-lane road with junctions every 500 meters, shops jutting out to the road, people walking around all over the place, and the state's geography not helping with millions of twists and turns. You end up crossing something like 30kms in an hour. If you are on a long-distance drive, your patience runs out soon, and though you may pride yourself to be a good driver, survival instincts and competitiveness take over and then before you know you are on the opposite lane passing 3-4 vehicles at a time, honking aggressively, and tailgating buses and trucks to look for the next split second to pass.

Yes small roads, continuous city driving across the state, too many vehicles, and last but not the least, the buses that just cant stay in their lane.. I have lost count of the number of times I have had my heart in my mouth .

The buses actually are a topic of its own. Aggressive schedules + passengers ( i wont say all, but a good percentage ) wanting the buses to reach faster ( rules be damned - and the bus folks know that regular people prefer "faster" buses and not necessarily "safer" ones) + drivers not being penalised enough for aggressive driving + lack of basic driving education and road etiquettes -> recipe for disaster.

Last edited by Bigzero : 21st November 2019 at 11:29.
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Old 21st November 2019, 16:11   #36
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
3. Kerala's drivers are not exactly that bad compared to what I've seen in Gujarat and Delhi. I'm sure that 50% of the drivers I see in Gujarat would be dead if they were exposed to the single lane curvy roads in kerala. Road manners are almost nonexistent in Gujarat. The only reason traffic goes smooth in Gujarat is because of the Amazing road network and well paved 3 lane "highways" almost everywhere where you can actually swerve to avoid accident and not find yourself facing oncoming traffic.
Whatever actions result in accidents, the biggest cause that pushes drivers to make stupid moves is the single lane- dividerless-badly paved road network. With less or no street lighting along the way and idiots driving with Highbeam on all the time.
.
Point on. My friend who visited Gujarat had the same observation.

Even in GCC countries (Saudi and Qatar IMO), before speed cams and hefty fines, the only thing preventing accidents from happening, were the wide high speed roads that meant you had to adhere to lanes or risk missing your exit or worse ending in an ugly crash. The only real rules implemented then were lane traffic at traffic signals. Same thing I felt when visiting Delhi in 2011, wide divided roads were preventing lots of accidents.

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
This change in attitude is a recent development, or should I say, noticed in the last decade or so. Cochin, or the state as a whole was never like this. Road etiquette was quite good. In fact; I have seen more people wear helmets in this state, much before the mandatory rule was in place. They understood the importance and safety behind wearing helmets. Same for the seat belt.
There was a spurt of new vehicles registration around late 2000s and early 2010s. Something to do with packed buses at that time. Everyone who is anyone bought bikes for commuting. Once tasted the freedom of personal transport, no one would go back to packed buses. Add lots of first time Alto buyers, who are not even taught basic parking skills by driving schools.

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
It is a known fact in Kanyakumari district that if you need to reach a place on the way to Trivandrum quickly, take the KSRTC bus because it might even be faster than a private car!

Also, whenever we cross the border from Tamil Nadu, there is a visible drop in the standard of driving with high levels of road rage! This is despite the fact that the Kerala side is better policed and the cars driven there are newer, larger and more expensive! I'm indeed perplexed as to what could be the reason!
.

So true. In fact, my relatives in Kanyakumari belong to two schools of thought.
One group would never enter KSRTC for fear of their lives, while the other group would avoid Tamilnadu buses cause they don't want to grow old by the time the hypermiling TNSTC/SETC reach their destination in TVPM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
Coming to the topic, I think Kerala's primary problem could be its lack of a proper highway for long-distance vehicles to go faster ( except for the Edappally-Walayar stretch - even that has now become so urban with so many exits and signals..). So everyone gets onto the same two-lane road with junctions every 500 meters, shops jutting out to the road, people walking around all over the place, and the state's geography not helping with millions of twists and turns. You end up crossing something like 30kms in an hour. If you are on a long-distance drive, your patience runs out soon, and though you may pride yourself to be a good driver, survival instincts and competitiveness take over and then before you know you are on the opposite lane passing 3-4 vehicles at a time, honking aggressively, and tailgating buses and trucks to look for the next split second to pass.

Misguided socialist thinking and fear of vote loss.

The money spent on the loss making Kochi metro could have been used for a pan-state highway. Don't know the logic of thinking where a bullet train/high speed train is socialist and an expressway is elitist in nature.

Even when roads are constructed, they won't reach the purpose. The Kazhakootam- Karode highway being constructed now, has traffic signals in almost all junctions, thanks to the politicians pandering to the local votes, even the international MP has to pander to these demands.

Funny thing is, even the Greenfield part of the project, which was just outer rural or unused farmlands, have the residents demanding traffic signals and avoiding underpasses/elevated bits, cause they want to use the new highway, when in fact there wasn't any roads in the first place.

Well, the people get the rulers they deserve.
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Old 21st November 2019, 19:37   #37
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Mr.Venky, I was telling about the Minnal service of KSRTC bus. Minnal service mostly runs from mid night to early morning. Is high vehicle density and high population density is applicable from midnight to early morning Mr.Venky ?
Jeeva is blaming Minnal service. Minnal service has started 2.5 years back and it is the most successful sevice operated in the history of KSRTC and it has very low accident rate, still people are blaming the service for no reason.
Are you joking ? on the single lane roads from one end of KL to the other end, have you seen the night-time traffic ? Being a consumer state and a fisheries export state, the sheer number of trucks plying in the night, carrying goods into and out of the state, is very high. Let's take a like-for-like comparison example. A 160/180hp ashok leyland TNSTC bus (newer ones with 1to1 sticker) takes 3h30m to 3h45m to cover bangalore to salem in the middle of the night, thats about 200km on 3+3 and 2+2 fully divided highways. A like-for-like160/180hp ashok leyland KSRTC bus, minnal or whatever, takes the same (or slightly less) duration to get from TVM to vyttila in ekm, a distance of ~225km, on single lane roads (except the last ~40km) with large amount of truck and bus traffic in the night. What can you understand from this ? that minnal is being driven "safely" ? absolutely not. Drivers of cars and trucks step over onto the mud when they see this monster coming at them at high speed, executing a daredevil overtake on blind curves. (I hope you will atleast not deny that most of these single lane roads have large number of curves). It is because of "others taking evasive action" that whatever is the source of your accident stats, makes you think minnal buses as baby angels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anb View Post
From where did you get the data that 50 percent drivers drive under the influence of alcohol ?
please understand the difference between "some" and 50% (read my post again). I was only stating that since on average 50% of the men consume alcohol, there is high likelihood that a KSRTC driver may be drunk while on duty.

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Originally Posted by anb View Post
Every state operated road corporation is in loss as there is no support for the public transport system from centre and state govts. Karnataka rtc losses amount to Rs.2200 crore in last 3 years. Everyone don't have the luxury of travelling in a car when they want to reach the destination quickly, so they choose buses.
No one, not a single bus corporation in india is making as much loss per bus, as KSRTC. Karnataka RTC probably has 10 (or more) times buses than KSRTC, with as much scaled up revenue, but with probably 2 times the number of employees. For every rupee that the state govt invests, none, absolutely no other bus corporation in all of india makes as much losses as KSRTC.

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Originally Posted by anb View Post
Why don't you install 80 kmph speed governor in your car and set an example since the speed limit of cars in Kerala is 80kmph Mr.Venky
This childish response to a very pertinent and valid question - "why doesn't KSRTC install speed governor in all its buses" doesn't deserve an answer.

Last edited by venkyhere : 21st November 2019 at 19:50.
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Old 21st November 2019, 20:05   #38
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

I am sorry if I'm offending someone but I live in Bangalore and when I see a small car with a KL registration, I try to avoid it as often I've witnessed erratic driving with this combination. On the other hand, larger vehicles with KL plates pretty much drive peacefully. I could be dead wrong but, hey, just some things that's I've seen...
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Old 21st November 2019, 22:05   #39
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
Are you joking ? on the single lane roads from one end of KL to the other end, have you seen the night-time traffic ? Being a consumer state and a fisheries export state, the sheer number of trucks plying in the night, carrying goods into and out of the state, is very high. Let's take a like-for-like comparison example. A 160/180hp ashok leyland TNSTC bus (newer ones with 1to1 sticker) takes 3h30m to 3h45m to cover bangalore to salem in the middle of the night, thats about 200km on 3+3 and 2+2 fully divided highways. A like-for-like160/180hp ashok leyland KSRTC bus, minnal or whatever, takes the same (or slightly less) duration to get from TVM to vyttila in ekm, a distance of ~225km, on single lane roads (except the last ~40km) with large amount of truck and bus traffic in the night. What can you understand from this ?
Sir,
I have checked the traveling time from Trivadrum to Ernakulam at 09:42 pm today. It shows 04 hours and 18 minutes. During day time ,the traveling time should be close to 6 hours. Why is this so ? Attaching screen shot for proof.
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Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents-gmap.jpeg  

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Old 21st November 2019, 22:50   #40
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by anb View Post
Sir,
I have checked the traveling time from Trivadrum to Ernakulam at 09:42 pm today. It shows 04 hours and 18 minutes. During day time ,the traveling time should be close to 6 hours. Why is this so ? Attaching screen shot for proof.
Again, are you joking ? Google map timings are based on "average" time taken by a huge number of vehicles, by tracking the phone location changes of people travelling, for each time of the day. Have you never travelled by any means of road transport from point A to point B, faster or slower than the duration indicated by google maps before starting the trip ?
If right now, it tells you 4h18m in the night and 6 hours during day, its because google has collected enough historical data at various times of the day, to make a fairly accurate average travel time prediction.

KSRTC minnal travels much much faster than these average times indicated by google. My brother has travelled in 3h30m from tvm to ekm, and vowed to never travel by this death machine, ever again.

I think we have discussed this topic enough. Either your Q was genuine, and you have learned something new from this post ; OR ; you are laughing uncontrollably that I even bothered to reply to your sarcastic Q.
I dont want to post anymore about minnal buses and digress from the topic of the thread.

Last edited by venkyhere : 21st November 2019 at 22:51.
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Old 21st November 2019, 23:28   #41
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
Again, are you joking ? Google map timings are based on "average" time taken by a huge number of vehicles, by tracking the phone location changes of people travelling, for each time of the day. Have you never travelled by any means of road transport from point A to point B, faster or slower than the duration indicated by google maps before starting the trip ?
If right now, it tells you 4h18m in the night and 6 hours during day, its because google has collected enough historical data at various times of the day, to make a fairly accurate average travel time prediction.

KSRTC minnal travels much much faster than these average times indicated by google. My brother has travelled in 3h30m from tvm to ekm, and vowed to never travel by this death machine,
Why the running time is 4 hr during night? What happened to your truck traffic theory? Running time for Minnal bus is 4 hours between Trivandrum and Ernakulam. Why is the service is mentioned as death machine ? How many people were killed by Minnal bus in last 2.5 years ?

Last edited by anb : 21st November 2019 at 23:30.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 18:28   #42
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

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Originally Posted by jeeva View Post
There is a KSRTC service called Minnal.

Even an atheist will start believing in god, if he sees one hurtling towards him and his family!
Completely OT, but mods I feel this post should be copied to our 'Bad drivers' thread

Both of them are driving horrendously. One bus is trying to overtake come whatever (or whoever is in front), and the other bus is hell bend on not letting the other one pass him inspite of having enough and more space to do so.

These two guys have put a set of normal road users at risk.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:00   #43
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Originally Posted by ZenMaster View Post
Being a Keralite who has spent a considerable time outside india and in kerala and currently working in Gujarat as well as having visited many indian states/cities the following are my observations
I have lived and been driving for prolonged period across three different geographies - UK, UAE and in India -multiple states. I think you have rightly nailed most of the points that result in the spate of accidents. However, there are reasons which result in these issues.

1. Undivided roads, allowing reckless blind overtaking. (the roads are not wide enough to add dividers / medians)
2. Narrow state highways. (population density causing unavailability of land for wide roads).
3. Highways having multiple traffic lights and junctions at short intervals (locals pressurising and vote seeking politicians relenting).
4. Trucks driving on fast lane leading to unsafe overtaking by others and frustration (cannot blame them, cos the slow lane is usually filled with slow moving traffic - autorickshaws , cyclists, pedestrian, shops encroaching or smaller goods vehicles).
5. lack of proper drivers training and licensing (this is a country wide problem).
People don't stick to lanes, no indication when changing lanes, one-upmanship, bikers riding on wrong side of road, pedestrians crossing anywhere that takes their fancy like they are out for a stroll.
6. Poor road planning and management by the authorities - possibly the most important bit.
7. Traffic police and MVD who are more interested in catching people with loud exhausts and modifications, rather than people who actually endanger themselves and others by blatantly flouting traffic rules. Talk about wrong priorities.

Unfortunately, we public are to be blamed for these issues. We cause all the issues as road users , we are not ready to be trained and licensed properly and we elect the wrong politicians and don't hold them accountable. When I say 'we' , I mean the collective public, not our group here, who I feel are among the more knowledgeable and discerning group of road users.

I really don't know when and how this situation can change in Kerala. But the eternal optimist in me hopes that it will.

Cheerio!
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:34   #44
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Default Re: Kerala tops in near-fatal road accidents

Incidentally, I've only had good experiences driving in Kerala! Yes, the roads are narrow. But the driver attitudes I've experienced in Kerala have come across lot refined, courteous, and matured in comparison to what I've experienced in Bangalore and Delhi! In my experience, they have had amazing sense of the right of way.

Of course I speak with only about 3-weeks of driving experience in Kerala. Nonetheless, multiple positive experiences of good drivers' attitude in those 3-weeks cannot be ignored as random happenstance.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:08   #45
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Could it be that the other states are not as sincere in reporting fatal accidents?

Police avoid registering cases for various reasons, most of the reasons being beneficial to the administration. A lower count means that the administration and the concerned police department will be rewarded. It also means that the police take money from the culprits by letting them off the hook, another unofficial incentive not to report.
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