Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Better Bus Travel for all

The Star Online - 15 August 2007

Posted by: jason_kua

What a pity, lives have been lost again when something could have been done. How many families are mourning over lost loved ones yet again. Did the police, RTD or Puspakom drop the ball? Enforcement at best is hodge-podge with even both the police and the RTD at it. Manpower constraints are often cited but when an accident occurs doesn't the country lose manpower too. The recent horrific bus accident will serve wake up call to the authorities to buck up. No one is pointing any fingers but I hope that they realise that they shoulder some of the responsibility not just the bus driver.

In their defence I would like to say, bus drivers are human too. They are being pushed to the limit of their endurance to ply up and down the NSE by their companies. Before the co-driver rule was introduced, the had to go at it solo. It must be clear that passenger's safety and not profit, must always be top priority. Rather let them be late then never arriving at all. I too have sat on the terror ride bus from Melaka before and count myself lucky to still be here to tell the story. For all our sakes let us learn from this tragedy before it strikes again, don't wait until it strikes close to home.

Have adequate breaks for the drivers, make sure they get a proper rest before letting them back on the road again. Have more frequent inspections of the buses and remove buses that have passed their prime to ensure safety. Do a background check on all bus drivers, currently employed and candidates. Make sure our highways are safe and well lit because they too factor in. Make bus travel safe for all.

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