Cops Crack Down on Bus Conductors/Passengers & Slap Fines for Footboard Travel

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Cops Crack Down on Bus Conductors/Passengers & Slap Fines for Footboard Travel.

Mangaluru: Close on its heels after Team Mangalorean published an article on Thursday 31 August 2023 highlighting commuters travelling on the footboard of buses, the Mangaluru Traffic Police under the direction of Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain, had a special drive to crack down on commuters including conductors standing on the footboard while the vehicle is on the move. In that special drive, 123 cases were booked for travelling on footboard, which was aimed to bring awareness among commuters not to travel standing on the footboard, and also to enhance passenger safety.

Later the former Police Commissioner had an interaction with bus operators/Owners, and an agreement was reached to ensure that passengers do not stand on the footboard in the absence of doors. In response, the bus operators have pledged to raise awareness among commuters about adhering to safety protocols. The police commissioner said that the buses equipped with doors will continue to enforce strict compliance, while the older city buses, which lack doors, will adopt a new practice of not commencing their journey until the footboard is clear.

During the meeting, the police commissioner provided crucial advice to bus owners to enhance passenger safety and prevent further tragedies. The recommendations come as a proactive response to the incident and highlight the importance of prioritizing safety over speed and convenience. He strongly emphasized that under no circumstances should anyone be allowed to stand on the footboard of the buses. This directive includes conductors, who are traditionally seen hanging onto the footboard while performing their duties. The prohibition of this practice aims to prevent any untoward incidents and protect the lives of both passengers and conductors.

Rather than fixating solely on punctuality or reaching on time, the commissioner urged the bus owners to shift their focus towards ensuring the safety of their passengers. He stressed that adhering to schedules should not come at the expense of neglecting safety protocols. By adopting a safety-first approach, bus operators can contribute to a safer commuting environment for everyone. This collaborative initiative between law enforcement and bus operators underscores their joint commitment to upholding passenger safety standards and reducing avoidable risks.

All this comes in the wake of a tragic accident where a conductor lost his life after being thrown out of a moving bus while he was hanging on the footboard. Recalling the incident which took place on 30 August 2023, where a 23-year-old private city bus conductor died of injuries after he was thrown out of a moving bus at Nanthoor junction in the city. The police gave the name of the deceased Eraiah, a native of Bagalkot district and presently residing at Tadambail near Surathkal. He was working on a private bus named Arasu/ Rajalaxmi plying on Route No.15 J, between Surathkal and Mangaladevi. The incident occurred in the afternoon when driver Shivanand M. Patil took a sharp right turn at the junction from Nanthoor towards Shivabagh-Kadri.

The conductor, who had reportedly helped clear the traffic jam by getting off the bus, jumped into the vehicle as the driver began moving. As he was standing on the front footboard, the victim lost balance when the driver took the right turn and was thrown out onto the road. The traffic police and members of the public had shifted him to a hospital in an autorickshaw. He succumbed to injuries late in the evening.

Even after the police commissioner gives a stern warning to the bus conductors not to stand on the footboard, and collect the fare/travel, as the saying goes “A DOG’S TAIL CAN NEVER BE straightened (even if you put it into a pipe for years)”, similarly are these bus conductors like a dog’s tail; who won’t change no matter what. This morning the SI, ASI and police constables of Kadri East Police Station stopped buses after seeing conductors/passengers travel on footboard and issued a violation receipt of Rs 500 each.

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