Palakkad accident: RTO report pins blame on speeding tourist bus

Nine people, including five students were killed and over 40 were injured after a private bus hit a state-run KSRTC bus from behind in Kerala's Palakkad district on October 7, 2022. Photo: Manorama

Palakkad: Overspeeding of the tourist bus caused the deadly accident at Vadakkancherry in Palakkad district, states the final report of the Motor Vehicle Department.

The report was prepared after examining the CCTV camera footage, talking to the persons injured in the accident, and those involved in the rescue operations right after the collision.

The probe couldn't corroborate claims that the accident resulted from the sudden braking by the KSRTC bus which was rammed by the tourist bus from the rear.

At the time of the accident, the tourist bus was moving at a speed of 97.7 km per hour. The average speed from the trip's start was 84.2 km/hour.

Nine people, including students, lost their lives in the accident that occurred in the early hours of Thursday. The tourist bus was carrying students of Mulanthuruthy-based Mar Baselios Vidyanikethan.

The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) (Enforcement wing), who investigated the accident and submitted his final report to the Transport Commissioner, recommended educational institutions to strictly inform the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) prior to the tour and get the vehicle inspected.

Major recommendations

The RTO has handed over to the Palakkad District Collector a slew of recommendations to minimise the accidents on Valayar- Vadakkancherry Road.

The suggestions include:

• Closing unnecessary gaps on the divider (median) which are accessed by pedestrians and motorists. Vehicles may hit them when they carelessly try to pass through these gaps.

• Adequate lighting at many points on the road. As per the guidelines of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the street lights are to be erected only in the inhabited stretches of the road. However, many stretches which were desolate at the time of the road construction now have buildings and houses. The inhabited areas must be reviewed and street lights must be erected.

• Caution reflectors must be installed near the dividers, median and culvert parapets. Thirty-seven such points have been identified.

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