Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bus driver was overspeeding: GPS records

Bus driver was overspeeding: GPS records
The TImes of India

Bangalore: The Global Positioning System (GPS) records of the Volvo bus that ploughed through traffic and rammed a bus shelter mowing down two persons and injuring over 20 others on October 17 have revealed that the driver had been overspeeding at several places on that day.
The accident had occurred opposite HAL Helicopter Division. “Near Mayo Hall, the driver was speeding at 67 kmph, much beyond the speed limit of 40 kmph within city limits,’’ a senior police officer said.
The speed limit within the city is 40 kmph while outside corporation limits is 50 kmph.
Ironically, speed governors fitted into BMTC buses limit speed to 60 kmph while it is 80 kmph for KSRTC buses.
The police, however, claimed that GPS data with BMTC is available for every two hours. The last data collected on October 17 was at 1.30 pm when the bus was going towards Kadugodi. The bus then left Kadugodi at 2.15 pm before it rammed the bus shelter at 3.10 pm.
“The actual cause of the mishap has not been established yet. The available evidence corroborated with eye-witness accounts indicate the driver was at fault as he was manoeuvring dangerously,’’ DCP traffic M A Saleem said.
The Motor Vehicle inspector could not give an opinion after inspection of the bus as it was charred. It was suspected that a brake failure had led to the driver losing control of the bus.
Authorities, however, maintain that the Volvo buses are fitted with a fool-proof braking and manoeuvring system. A team from Volvo too has maintained there was no mechanical problem, a senior BMTC official said.
According to BMTC authorities, the Volvo bus driver, John Rose (53), presently under suspension pending departmental inquiry, had a “fairly good’’ track record. He joined BMTC in 1983 and for several years was on the Sadashivnagar-Majestic route. After specialised training, John was deployed for BMTC’s Volvo fleet one month ago.
“Accidents are unpredictable and sometimes the best of drivers are involved in minor mishaps. Drivers are placed under suspension, pending inquiry, in all fatal accidents,’’ a BMTC official said.
John has maintained that there was a problem with the braking system and he had also complained to the BMTC mechanic, who did not rectify it.
Meanwhile, the police said that medians and other road markings will come up as per Indian Road Congress specifications after the final layer of asphalting is done on the stretch.


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