Such is the hold of aircraft manufacturing giants over governments, politicians, administrators and over the media that few, if any, airline crashes are ever eventually pinned on the plane or its manufacturer. It is, almost always, “pilot error” or “human error”, never the machine’s or its maker’s fault. They are angels.
And so it seems to be in the case of Volvo, the Swedish bus maker, which seems to be have conquered Indian roads and minds with its sexy looking but patently dangerous vehicles.
The fire which roasted alive 45 people in Mahbubnagar last month was blamed on the driver of the Volvo bus.
And, sure enough, it seems the fire which roasted alive 7 people in Haveri will be blamed on the driver of the Volvo bus.
Volvo claims its buses are safe, that drivers and bus staff are trained to deal with hazards and accidents, and that is overspeeding that is killing people. That rapacious bus operators have ill-trained, underpaid staff, who try to cut corners to reach destinations ahead of schedule.
Questions: looking at a large Volvo bus with a tiny door in the front on the road, does it give you the sense of being safe? Are the speeds it can do suitable for Indian roads? Why are mostly private buses falling involved in such horrific accidents? Will a blackbox or speed governor really make travelling safe?
Photographs: Karnataka Photo News and The Hindu