In a special operation aimed at curbing overcharging by private bus operators during the festive season, Pune's Regional Transport Office (RTO) uncovered various traffic violations that could potentially compromise road safety.
During the inspection of 360 buses, 125 were slapped with e-challans for offenses ranging from overcharging passengers to lacking essential safety equipment. A WhatsApp number introduced for reporting received a positive response, resulting in 32 complaints and action taken against two buses for overcharging.
14 buses penalised for having non-functional fire extinguishers
Of particular concern were 14 buses penalised for either lacking or having non-functional fire extinguishers, a critical safety measure. Despite prior warnings and assurances from bus associations, compliance with basic traffic regulations remains an issue.
Officials highlighted the risk posed by 22 buses using dazzling lights, potentially causing accidents by blinding other drivers. Reflectors and taillamps in disrepair were also noted, along with instances of overloading and operating without the required permit.
Sanjiv Bhor, Pune RTO, stressed the importance of communication with bus operators and the need for strict adherence to traffic regulations to prevent accidents.
Ritu Shah expressed relief, stating, "It's about time the authorities took action. Overcharging and safety violations have been rampant for too long, especially during festivals."
Amit Kumar, who reported a case shared, "I'm glad to see action being taken. The buses need to follow the rules; it's a matter of everyone's safety."
Priya Deshmukh voiced her concerns, saying, "I hope these fines serve as a deterrent. Safety should always come first, and it's disheartening to see some operators compromising on that for their gain."