Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Better drive safe, wife's watching

Drivers of Andhra Pradesh's 23,000 public transport buses are a lot more responsible now, a transformation that has happened in the past six months. That's because buses they're assigned to have photographs of their children and wife stuck on the dashboard. This step coupled with random mandatory breath analyser tests, have had a salutary effect and accidents are significantly down. 

Also, the December 16 Delhi gang rape has spurred the Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation (APSRTC) to make state bus travel safer for women. It has started martial arts training for its 7,000-odd women conductors so that they can help prevent attacks on passengers.

On Monday, APSRTC that ferries at least 1.4 crore passengers every year, received a trophy for its impressive accident-control record from highways minister CP Joshi. In the last two years, the corporation has recorded only 0.13 and 0.11 accidents per 1lakh km. "Ever since we started the two recent initiatives to put brake on accidents, our record has improved to 0.09," APSRTC vice- chairman and managing director A K Khan, an IPS officer, said. 

The idea of putting a driver's family photograph on the dashboard was implemented last July in view of the psychological impact it has on the man behind the wheel. "Every driver leaves home promising his family that he will return home safe. A soft reminder of his family motivates him to be alert. This has gone down well with the drivers," Khan said. 

Booze test for Andhra drivers must 

To ensure drivers aren't drunk, the Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has procured 300 advanced breath analyzers and tests are mandatory. 

Last July, 25 drivers were sacked after they were found drunk. 

"This strong message of zero tolerance to drink driving has worked," APSRTC vice-chairman and managing director A K Khan said. 

APSRTC transports at least 1.2 crore passengers per day and covers 82 lakh km. It won the trophy in the mofussil category. "Over 1.47 lakh state transport undertaking buses carry about 7 crore passengers across the country. They need to ensure high levels of passenger safety," said executive director of association of STRUs U Sudhakara Rao.

Source - TimesofIndia


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