Ashok Dwarakanath has submitted the following complaint to BMTC, through their official website on October 23rd and is yet to get BMTC’s response.
This is to bring to your kind attention some possible safety violations by drivers operating Volvo buses on route 335E. This may apply in general to other routes also.
- Slowing down far away before or after the bus stop if passengers are boarding another bus for formality sake but never really stopping the bus at the bus stop. Speeding away from the bus stop sometimes even after 2 or more passengers are waving their hands. This is a regular feature at Graphite India bus stop towards Majestic. Example if passengers are boarding 550 C or K, 335E driver will simply speed off even if the whole bus has 2-3 passengers. Since this is a busy junction next bus could get stuck in the signal delaying office commuters by at least 30 minutes in the morning time.
- 335E drivers are not stopping at the bus stops and open the doors for passengers to alight in the middle of the road in peak traffic. This happens to me everyday when getting off after Lifestyle signal. They dont even make an attempt to pull the bus to the left towards the bus stop. On Friday evening at 9 pm, I took the 331 A from Residency Road that stops at Marathahalli bridge. The driver opened the door in the middle the signal when taking a right towards ORR. There was so much traffic that I decided to get off after the bus has turned at the bustop at the intersection of Varthur road and ORR. Instead the driver sped away and only stopped upon my repeated request after the bridge on ORR. I had to walk all the way back to Varthur road. Why is there so much discretion given to drivers. Buses should stop safely at the bus stop both when picking up and dropping off commuters even if there is a few seconds delay at the stop.
- So far as I have observed drivers of 335E are not driving in a safe manner nor ensuring passenger comfort. They are driving the automatic Volvos like the old Tata / Ashok Leyland buses suddenly accelerating, braking hard, intimidating every other vehicle on the road, playing loud FM channels (as if everyone wants to listen to AIR FM Rainbow), honking on the slightest blockage and worse, swearing at each other (other volvo drivers) and others on the slightest provocation. It is so sad that world-class buses have been given by BMTC for them to drive and they share no passion or connection with fellow citizens in the bus.
- 335E drivers are driving in a unsafe manner putting the lives of their own and other vehicles on the road especially 2 wheelers at extreme risk due to constant lane changes, unpredictable braking, honking and tailgating.
- Safety kits, fire extinguishers and pick axes to break the glass in emergencies are frequently missing.
To summarise, young people like me can still manage to handle this chaos. But what about the elderly, children and women? Would these drivers like to treat their own family like this if they are travelling by Vajra? How many extra seconds will it take to allow the last child or old person to get off the bus? What does it talk of our society when we unwilling to show care for the elderly, children and women? What is the use of putting posh looking buses when we are unable to change our social behaviour which needed to use modern technology?
Driving is a social activity and trained government drivers should set the standard and not compete with the like of private lorry/cab drivers who are willing to runover people to make Rs 100 more per trip. I fear that with the current attitude, Bengaluru may look like Singapore but underneath will lose all friendliness and character. Kindly do the needful before the situation deteriorates further.
1. I agree that most of the 335E drivers drive the buses very rashly, apply sudden breaks, and stop buses on the middle of the road. If there is a BMTC bus in front of them, they simply overtake that bus and skip that bus stop. Who gave them the right to do so? Why can’t they stop behind the BMTC bus, wait and then start?
2. Also, if there is another volvo bus of the same route in a bus stop, another Volvo bus to the same route will simply skip that bus stop. In most cases, that bus will be empty.
3. A/C is not operated in full speed even if it is very hot inside the bus and if it is noon. The AC is at the full mercy of the driver who will adjust the speed according to his whims and fancies. The drivers will not listen to the requests from the travellers.
4. A few conductors have the habit of singing songs on seeing pretty girls, staring at them, and even taking photos using mobile cameras. Some of them even delicately grace the bodies of female passengers.
5. I have never understood why drivers refuse to open the back door and only the front door. People have to walk from the back seats to the front door to alight from the bus. Why can’t such atrocious behavior stopped?
Is all this because most of the commuters are from other states?
This is not just 335E, every route has this problem. Apart from not stopping they usually just park at some major bus stop like Silk Board or Marathahalli bridge and wait for passengers to fill up even though they’re supposed to be passing through. Many times they move only after passengers start questioning the delay.
As for driving speed and rashness, they just mirror existing driving culture in Bangalore. They just have bigger buses to bully that’s all. Traffic is just a jungle where the bigger beast rules. When you have bikes cutting in left and right in front of the bus at every bottleneck and turning, making them brake and jerk repeatedly, they’ll naturally feel stressed out, and the road rage shows in the way they are driving. Am not condoning the way they are driving, just lamenting the way we drive in Bangalore (or any Indian city for that matter) these days.