TNSTC Bus driver speaking over phone while driving

Despite a ban on TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) bus drivers from talking over their mobile phones while driving, many violations are now being spotted in the city and more in suburban locations giving anxious moments to road users, motorists have complained.

After complaints poured in, the TNSTC (Madurai division) management made a public announcement a couple of years ago that heavy vehicle drivers should not use mobile phones while on duty. Instead, the conductors, accompanying the driver, could answer calls and during short breaks, the drivers could use their phones. Checking inspectors and other officials were entrusted with the task of surveillance and surprise checks at random.

However, after some months passed, the drivers on long distance routes started attending calls on their handsets, commuters said. Though nothing untoward had occurred so far, it is better to avoid from any such diversions, they felt.

TNSTC Bus driver speaking over phone while driving

A traffic police officer said that a head-on collision involving two government buses near Vilangudi on Monday may be due to talking over mobile phone by either of the drivers. Though there was no injury or casualty, the impact of collision was such that the glass panes had completely broken into pieces.

In the absence of checks, drivers in the city limits too started using their handsets, the public claimed. It is common to see many drivers’ talking on their handsets even in front of the TNSTC head office, situated on the by-pass road, regular commuters said.

Sometimes the conductors sensitised the drivers’ who talked over phone on the highways, but on most of the occasions, they ignored the advice of some passengers and went on talking, an advocate who was travelling on a bus from Madurai to Tirupur said.

When contacted, TNSTC Managing Director said that they have been sensitising the drivers not to use their handsets. “We will take stern action against erring drivers,” he assured.