As two perish in consecutive mishaps, questions surround rash bus drivers and safety measures
The accident on February 13 that claimed a pedestrian
Those driving around BEST buses, keep a safe distance; they seem to be going through a spate of deadly mishaps. A few days after a bus went up in flames, two consecutive accidents within two days involving BEST buses have also been reported. The latest was an accident this morning at around 7.45am, when a BEST bus -- driven by a Digambar Bhor -- was reaching the Dharavi depot, and a biker came under the wheels. The BEST officials are, per usual, blaming the biker for allegedly trying to overtake, during which he skidded right under the wheels.
"It was near Dharavi Koliwada when apparently a biker rammed into the right side rear end of the bus and came under the wheels,” said a BEST official on condition of anonymity.
Litany of incidents
The accident on February 13 at Chembur occurred when driver M Ghodke (55) dashed the wall near Hindustan Petroleum and killed a pedestrian. Starting from April 2016 till January 2017, 14 people have already died in BEST accidents.
As per an internal evaluation made by the BEST Undertaking in January, a bus is involved in an accident mostly on the left rear end (30 per cent) and the front sides (22 per cent each for left and right). They have compiled the data based on accidents that occurred from 2010 to 2015.
As for the pedestrians who died after being rammed by a BEST bus, maximum deaths (32 percent) happened on the front left side. As far as bikers are concerned, maximum deaths have occurred on the rear left side (29 per cent). The biker of the Tuesday morning mishap came under the rear right side wheel, responsible for 22 per cent deaths.
"The transport department is performing pathetically in every way. Moreover, BEST drivers are known for rash driving and something needs to be done," said Ravi Raja, BEST Committee member. At least 64 percent of bus drivers involved in accidents fall in the age group of 36-55 years.
There is also the issue of maintenance as two incidents of buses partially going up in flames have already occurred in 2017 -- one on January 15 and one on February 12.