Racing bus drivers arrested in Pollachi

Driving licenses of both the erring bus drivers were also cancelled by RTO officials.

Coimbatore: In a major crackdown against speeding buses on the Pollachi Main road, police have so far detained over 25 private buses involved in rash driving on the arterial stretch here.

Taking a further stringent approach, two negligent drivers, Cheladurai and Nagaraj, who were involved in the mad race, were also arrested by the police. Their driving licenses have been cancelled already.

Both the drivers were caught on a mobile camera racing mindlessly on one-way lane of the Coimbatore-Pollachi highway couple of days ago, despite the poor condition of uncompleted lanes just filled with black metal stones. It was then that the Transport department, police and district administration plunged into action as the racing video went viral in social media.

Immediately, the Pollachi sub-collector Ms. Gayathri passed an order to the Pollachi RTO demanding him to take necessary action. The two drivers were arrested and their driving licenses were cancelled.

Further departmental actions followed by seizing 25 private buses by transport officials on Sunday reportedly being driven by over-speeding drivers, 17 buses seized near Kinathukadavu, two buses in Pollachi taluk and six in Komangalam, for madly competing with one other in order to carry more number of passengers.

The sub-collector has also called for a meeting of private bus owners along with RTO officials at Pollachi on May 2 to discuss the issue.

The buses plying in the Pollachi-Coimbatore and Mettupalayam-Coimbatore routes operate with a short time span of just two to five minutes gap between each bus heading to the same destination. So, the departure time and running time has to be regularised to avoid road mishaps but the RTO department has failed to do so, alleged the private bus owners.

Private Bus owners Association V. Soundaram told DC that the timings of buses should be regularized. “We are still following the timings scheduled 50 years ago, though number of vehicles have increased in the last 50 years, railway ROB construction, unexpected traffic, road widening works and so many technical issues have come up; how they expect us to follow the same timings given 50 years ago, despite giving numerous petition to the department officials demanding to conduct a meeting every year, they remain their ears and eyes folded,” he charged.

The government buses plying between Pollachi to Ukkadam is given 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour to 30 minutes, whereas for private buses its 55 minutes to one hour. “Obviously we have to maintain speed, unfortunately if the bus gets trapped in traffic jam, the entry timings will collapse while we reach the bus stand and the officials at the bus stands will intervene demanding us to short terminate our trip allowing the government buses to ply,” he explained.

“If we don’t maintain the speed, we may lose number of passengers, and may lose timings while reaching the final destination at the right time and the continuity for the next trip will also get affected. Unless the timing schedules are changed the rash driving and road mishaps will not come to an end,” he pointed out, adding, this issue has remained unresolved for very long years now.
District police sources said that they have been instructed to monitor the over-speeding buses plying on the Coimbatore-Pollachi and Coimbatore-Mettupalayam routes.

“In case of over-speeding, the driver will be fined and if the cases are repeated, we may recommend to the RTO officials to cancel the license of the particular driver,” said a police officer.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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