Kerala State Road Transport Corporation forms monitoring system to curb accidents

Express News Service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The KSRTC has constituted an accident monitoring system to reduce the number of accidents and ensure safer journey for the public. As part of the programme, a seven-member team will be constituted -- which will study past accidents involving KSRTC buses and suggest measures to address the findings.

The team will be chaired by the executive director (vigilance), and consists of technical members from KSRTC, the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).  "Some accidents are avoidable and the focus of the team will be on addressing the underlying issues behind such accidents," said an officer. According to the officer, a relatively lean period during the pandemic was best suited to undertake such studies. 

With over 5,000 buses under it, KSRTC is notorious for road accidents in the state. Transport Minister A K Saseendran himself admitted that the major reason for these accidents was rash and negligent driving. According to State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), 2,635 lives have been lost in about 15,226 accidents involving KSRTC buses between 2006-2018.

KSRTC has penalised over 5,000 drivers in last year alone. Besides providing regular training, crew change system has been actively encouraged to reduce accidents, said the officer.  The connection between reducing number of accidents on insurance premiums is noteworthy.

KSRTC pays around Rs 2.6 crore a year to insurance companies with an annual cap of Rs 50 crore since last year.  Such an insurance policy had helped KSRTC to pay the victims of a 2019 road accident which happened in Avinashi in Tamil Nadu in which 19 passengers died and 20 grievously injured. The families of the crew members who died in the accident also benefited after they received Rs 30 lakh each through the insurance policy.

"The new accident monitoring system will also suggest a revision of insurance premiums and introduce a safety cess from passengers," said the officer.

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