In the aftermath of Sunday's accident, in which a bus fell into a gorge at Ranikhet, Uttarakhand police on Monday wrote a letter to the transport department saying there is a need for two drivers on buses that cover long distances in tough hilly conditions. According to the police, several accidents have been caused by drivers who feel fatigued and sleepy during a long journey. 

"If a driver feels sleepy while driving a vehicle on hill routes there is no time to react. There are several lives at stake with passengers on board," DGP BS Sidhu told TOI. He said that the initial probe into Sunday's accident revealed that it was caused since the driver was too tired. The mishap led to four deaths and left over 40 injured. 

"We have written to the transport authorities and asked them to ensure that two drivers are posted in buses on long distance routes," he said. State police has already requested private operators to have two drivers on long routes. 

To ensure that the move is also cost-effective, police has recommended that conductors be taught how to drive. "We have suggested that conductors who are good drivers should be sent on such routes. Those who are not should be provided driving lessons. There won't be any extra expenditure either," he said. 

The top official said that hilly terrain is where a driver needs to be most vigilant. A fatigued driver on such treacherous courses can be a hazard. "If there are two drivers on the bus, one can take rest while the other drives," said Sidhu. 

In the last nine months, the state has seen at least four major mishaps involving buses. 

See More