High number of metrobus accidents in Istanbul raises concerns
Metrobuses, which carry nearly a million passengers daily, have been involved in nine accidents in the past six months, putting the lives of thousands of commuters in danger.
Metrobuses have lanes designated only for them on roads, which is why the frequency of them getting involved in accidents is raising concerns. Experts are urging the performances of drivers to be evaluated in order to prevent incompatible drivers from getting behind the wheel.
“Humans are responsible of nearly 98 percent of the accidents that have taken place,” Prof. Mustafa İlıcalı told daily Habertürk on Dec. 4, stressing that drivers must follow the rules.
“Based on my 35 years of experience, I can say that the inability to track the distance travelled leads to accidents. The drivers are at fault,” he also said.
Saying that the Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company (İETT) gives the necessary training to drivers, İlıcalı noted that it’s essential for the drivers to abide by the rules.
“A stronger training, awareness and supervision are necessary to prevent accidents. The vehicles can be controlled with smart systems. It’s possible to see even the tiniest detail, including following the distance travelled, and intervene with new generation technologies. Barriers may be strengthened to prevent cars from entering the roads reserved for metrobuses,” he added.
İlıcalı also said that metrobuses are essential for a metropolis like Istanbul, adding that new generation technologies must be used to solve the issues related to these vehicles.
A total of 63 people were injured in the past six months, with the most recent one being in the Sefaköy neighborhood early on Dec. 3 that resulted in 19 injuries.
Another accident with a high number of casualties took place on June 11, when two metrobuses collided and 32 people were injured.
Also speaking about the accidents, Association of Traffic Accident Victims head Yeşim Ayöz said the proficiency of drivers needs to be reviewed.
“Metrobuses may be equipped with the latest technology, but the suitability of the roads and drivers to this system need to be checked. The travel distances are long and are suitable for distraction. As if these are not enough, most drivers are constantly using their cellphones while driving,” she told Habertürk, adding that daily checks on the vehicles, roads and drivers are a must.
“It’s hard to be a professional driver. I guess they are working a lot and are getting tired. Depending on the performance evaluations to be done at the end of each month, there should be firings if necessary,” she also said.