775 MTC drivers caught using phones while driving: RTI data

The disciplinary actions were taken against 21 drivers between 2010 and 2011, and 754 drivers from 2012 to till now, the MTC said in response to an RTI query filed by social activist M Kasimayan.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: As many as 775 Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) bus drivers have been caught using mobile phones while driving since 2010, official data shows.

Despite the Supreme Court-appointed committee on road safety categorised talking on a mobile phone while driving as one of the five serious traffic offences in 2014, MTC drivers are continuing to use mobile phones while driving placing passenger safety at risk.

The disciplinary actions were taken against 21 drivers between 2010 and 2011, and 754 drivers from 2012 to till now, the MTC said in response to an RTI query filed by social activist M Kasimayan.

“The strict disciplinary actions were being initiated on the complaints received from the passengers on the drivers driving buses while talking on mobile phones,” the MTC said.

To Kasimayan’s query on fines collected from drivers using phones on duty, the MTC said that it had collected Rs 200 from drivers in 2010-2011 and Rs 9100 from drivers since 2012.

Activist Kasimayan said that MTC has collected a paltry sum of Rs 12 each from 775 drivers who were caught using mobile phones while driving the public transport bus in violation of the Motor Vehicles Act. He said that as per the Act if a driver was caught using a mobile phone while driving, they would be fined Rs 1,000 earlier. “Now, with the revised fines, if the driver was caught for the first time, the fine would be Rs 1000 and for the second time, the fine would be Rs 10,000. But the MTC had collected mere Rs 12 from the driver since 2010,” he pointed out.

V Dhayanantham, general secretary, CITU affiliated Government Transport Employees Union said that the MTC takes complaints from passengers very seriously. “These drivers are temporarily suspended and disciplinary proceedings are initiated against them,” he said, adding that the MTC conducts safety classes for the drivers and conductors regularly.

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