Girls on Goa trip from Kerala change bus’ gears: Driver loses license for 6 months

Driving is not a right but a privilege, and the authorities can take away this privilege even if they get the slightest doubt that you put the lives of other road users/passengers in danger. This is exactly what a bus driver from Kerala found out the hard way, when he saw his driving license getting suspended by RTO authorities for playfully letting a couple of girls shift gears of the bus he was driving. According to BigNewsLive, the incident happened on a Kerala-Goa road trip that the driver was taking a bunch of college students to. The video of this incident has gone viral. We’ve lined it up for you right below. Check it out.

As the video indicates, the bus driver is seen letting a couple of girls shift gears of the bus he’s driving. The driver seems to be telling the girls exactly when to shift up or down based on traffic conditions. The video of this incident went viral a few days ago, leading RTO officials to suspend the driver’s license for 6 months. M. Shaji from Wayanad was driving the bus during the incident, and was summoned to the regional transport office in Kalpetta by the RTO (Enforcement) Biju James summoned. After interrogating the driver, the RTO suspended his license for 6 months for ‘reckless endangerment’. 

What can go wrong during such seemingly playful acts?

Allowing co-passengers to operate controls of a vehicle can lead to a loss in vehicular control, especially if the driver has to make an emergency maneuver. This is the reason why the driver of a vehicle needs to have total access to all controls of a vehicle, including the steering, brakes, gear shifter, clutch and accelerator. In a heavy vehicle such as a bus, allowing the controls to be operated by co-passengers is even more dangerous given the fact that heavy vehicles are not easily maneuverable, and can go out of control really quickly. An accident involving a bus usually results in the loss of life/lives.

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If a situation requiring an evasive/emergency maneuver were to occur, the bus driver may not be able to quickly regain control. Even a split second counts in an emergency maneuver. Indian roads are extremely unpredictable, and emergency maneuvers are very common during regular driving, which is perhaps why the RTO took such stringent action on the bus driver. This incident, and the prompt action by the RTO will serve as a lesson to all other bus drivers.