Udupi: In the recent past several incidents of passengers being injured or killed due to the negligence of drivers and bus operators in buses have been reported. In the past 15 days, Udupi police have arrested three persons in connection with such incidents.
On December 4, Krishna Naik (70) of Hirgana died after falling off a bus when he tried to board it near Muroor. The bus conductor gave instructions to the driver to move without ensuring everyone had boarded the bus that was moving toward Hebri from Karkala. Locals rushed Krishna Naik to the hospital, however, he was declared brought dead by doctors. A case has been registered at Karkala town police station in this regard.
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Just over a week prior to the Muroor accident, on November 26, Chandrasekhara Naik (65), a resident of Konchadi, died while getting off the private bus near Konchadi Haleneeru Bettu. Here too the bus conductor was blamed for not ensuring the safety of the passengers. The bus conductor, Manjunath, reportedly instructed the driver Vishwanath Shetty to drive the bus. A case was registered in this regard at Shankaranarayana Police Station.
Police had arrested Jayaprakash Shetty (60) and Manjunath (31) and the driver Vishwanath Shetty (53) in this instance.
Commute on the footboards
Travelling on the footboards for various reasons is cited as another major cause of accidents on buses. Even on national and state highways, buses can be seen crammed into the bus on buses moving on the Mangaluru-Padubidri-Karkala route. Youngsters and students travel on footboards daily.
Such unsafe behaviour also invites trouble. Recently there was an incident where a student fell off the footboard to the road.
Commuters say, infrequent buses on the route cause overcrowding, especially during rush hours. If alternate arrangements are not made, more accidents are likely to occur in the future. The police and district administration should monitor this, they added.
Police warn of legal actions
Udupi district Superintendent of Police Hakay Akshay Machindra said that strict legal actions will be initiated against erring bus staff. In recent times, many instances of negligent behaviour of the bus conductors and drivers have come to light.
Dangerous practices such as moving the bus before passengers have sfely gotten on or off, overloading, and carrying passengers hanging from the footboard has led to an increase in accident cases, he said, and added that bus driver and conductor will be held directly responsible for these incidents.