Bus driver charged with rash driving in Himachal accident

June 21st, 2008 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  


Shimla, June 21 (IANS) The driver of a bus that fell into a gorge killing 16 passengers in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district has been charged with rash and negligent driving. Sixteen people, including five women, were killed and five injured when the bus they were travelling in fell into the gorge near Rampur town, 130 km from here. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus was on its way to Rampur from Basheri village.

The driver was injured in the accident, while the conductor was among the dead.

An inquiry committee, constituted by state Transport Minister Kishan Kapoor, Friday charged driver Kewal Ram of rash driving at a narrow curve.

The committee reported that the road curve was too narrow at the site of the accident and required widening.

The number of road accidents in the state has been on the rise in the past few years. According to official figures available with the state government, at least 979 people were killed in 2,955 road accidents in 2007 that left 5,322 people injured.

T.C. Janartha, HRTC managing director, told IANS the corporation is regularly conducting medical examination, including testing of eyes and functioning of limbs, of roadways staff.

He said only those buses were allowed to ply that get fitness certificate from its depots. Even playing of music in the buses had been banned, he said, as it could distract the drivers.

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