Mumbai News: 50% Rise Since Last Year in BEST Bus Accidents

Mumbai News: 50% Rise Since Last Year in BEST Bus Accidents

15 fatal accidents have been reported in this year, so far, while a total of 10 mishaps were reported in entire 2022 

Kamal MishraUpdated: Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 09:30 PM IST
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Mumbai News: 50% Rise Since Last Year in BEST Bus Accidents | FPJ

Mumbai: In a distressing development, the number of accidents involving BEST buses has seen a significant rise this year. According to data, 2023 has, so far, witnessed a total of 15 fatal accidents, including five in June alone. This figure marks a nearly 50 per cent increase compared to last year when 10 fatal mishaps involving the BEST buses were reported. 

The number of accidents started to increase from 2019 when 15 people died and 87 were injured. The situation continued to deteriorate in the subsequent years, with 2020 witnessing 12 deaths and 51 injured cases. Similarly, in 2021, there were 12 deaths again and a total of 80 reported accidents, which left 63 passengers injured, with 35 classified as serious.

Slight decline in fatal accidents in 2022

Although 2022 showed a slight decline in fatal accidents, with only 10 mishaps being reported. Last year, a total of 130 accidents occurred, leaving over 40 people injured. This year, so far, 59 accidents have been documented, leaving 50 injured. Ten of them sustained grave wounds while forty had minor injuries.

According to a retired BEST official, the number of fatal accidents came down from 2015-2016. Back then, 31 people died in different road accidents involving BEST buses. Likewise in 2016- 2017, 22 fatalities were reported.

A workers' union leader have identified several factors contributing to the rise in accidents. The foremost cause is the lack of pedestrian space and the 'encroachment' of roads due to ongoing construction projects. Reduced road widths have left minimal room for maneuvering, especially for pedestrians and two-wheeler riders.

He explained his argument, giving an example of the June 10 accident reported from Amrit Nagar, Vikhroli. Probe revealed that the deceased, a biker, had come under the bus tyre after being hit by a car door. The motorcyclist tried to speed past a stationary car when its driver suddenly opened the door, causing the biker to fall onto the road and collide with the right-side tyre. Police investigation concluded that the BEST driver was not at fault.

Experts said that rash driving and over speeding, particularly by wet lease bus drivers, also contribute to accidents. However, data indicates that a higher number of accident cases involve BEST-owned buses compared to its wet lease counterparts.

Another worrisome factor is the sudden increase in brake failure cases. When queried about the issue, officials said that in most cases, drivers lose control due to other reasons, but blame brake failure.

Pointers:

Data from past years

2019 

15 deaths; 87 injured

2020 

12 deaths; 51 injured 

2021

12 deaths; 63 injured 

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