Despite popular outrage over videos of buses racing dangerously and recklessly on the Pollachi-Coimbatore highway, little of the situation seems to have changed on the ground. On Sunday morning, a government bus and a private bus could again be seen racing each other near Kinathukadavu.
In the video, a private bus is seen chasing a government bus. The private bus is seen weaving along the road, covering most of it, and even driving up on to the mud shoulder of the highway and raising plumes of dust along the way. Finally, after many minutes of alarming driving, it overtakes the government bus.
The incident took place at around 9.45am on Sunday. While the private bus was travelling from Coimbatore to Udumalpet, while the government bus was going from Coimbatore to Palani.
This incident comes despite action taken by the Regional Transport Office against a number of buses and drivers in the past three months. After the first video of racing buses appeared in April, the RTO had arrested the two drivers and withheld their licenses, as well as seizing 23 buses for overspeeding and endangering passengersâ€™ lives.
Similar action was also taken when a second video emerged in June.
However, an RTO official from Pollachi told TNM that the cases booked in those instances suffered for lack of substantial evidence.
â€śI have not seen this video and in the last two instances, we had cancelled the licenses of the drivers. But we can only take action after we get substantial evidence in the case. In the last two cases, when we went to court there was no substantial evidence. Then we were questioned. In this case, we need to get proper witnesses and evidence, and only then we can take up the case,â€ť he said.
He added that strict action is being taken against people caught drunk driving and over-speeding.