State transport commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar told TOI that RTOs (regional transport offices) had been instructed to inform transporters that they should brief passengers about emergency exits, the location of hammer to break glass and what to do in emergency situations before buses start a journey.
“The instructions should be followed. The private bus operators should take care of it,” Bhimanwar said.
The decision comes following the tragedy on Samruddhi Expressway on July 1. A total of 25 passengers were charred to death in the accident in Buldhana district.
Officials at the Pune RTO said a meeting was convened with private bus operators on Friday.
“We have requested CIRT (Central Institute of Road Transport) to conduct a oneday training for all bus drivers if possible. Also, the transporters were told to recheck and recalibrate speed governors in buses and fix them according to the norms,” Sanjiv Bhor, the Pune deputy RTO, told TOI.
He said the conductor, driver or any other staffer would have to brief passengers on the emergency exit strategy before commencing any trip of private buses, be it interor intra-state. “All passengers should be aware about how to exit a bus, especially sleeper coaches, in case of emergency,” Bhor said.
The design of sleeper coaches came under scrutiny after the Samruddhi Expressway tragedy. Bhor said, “Transporters have been instructed to ensure that there is no overloading and emergency exits of buses stay free.
They have been told to ensure that their drivers are not drunk and don’t talk on phones while driving.”