Heavy vehicles, tipper lorries causing a number of accidents

Entry of heavy vehicles, including tipper lorries, into the city during daytime is to be banned in view of the uptrend in road accidents and as part of the efforts to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

The ban on heavy vehicles is being contemplated by the law enforcing agencies as the existing restrictions on heavy vehicles and the ban on tipper lorries from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. by the State Police Chief has been confined to paper.

Restricting the heavy vehicles, especially sand-laden lorries from adjoining Tamil Nadu and multi-axle trailers by the traffic police at entry points like Pallichal by the traffic police had not been successful. Stern action by the personnel of the Motor Vehicles Department against erring vehicles had always invited the wrath of the lorry owners, automobile dealers and the construction lobby.

The decision of the Motor Vehicle Department to hike the vehicle tax of the tipper lorries and the notice of the city police to all owners of the vehicles in the capital that they will also be made co-accused in case of an accident has had a good impact.

Tipper lorries and even trailers moving through the roads of the city during daytime and even peak hours are a regular sight. To hoodwink the police, mini-tippers are pressed into service and winding routes are taken that often leads to traffic snarls. On Friday, a fully loaded tipper with a tyre puncture got stranded in the Museum-RR lamp stretch for hours.

Official sources said only a permanent ban on tipper lorries during daytime can curb mounting accidents. Steps have been initiated to impose a ban on these vehicles during daytime, sources added.

The recent observation by the Division Bench of the High Court that plying of tipper lorries in cities and towns should be banned during daytime has come as a blessing for the law enforcing agencies to crack the whip against the heavy vehicles.

Rash and negligent driving, overloading, lack of awareness among drivers about safety precautions to be followed while transporting of goods have resulted in an uptrend in accidents involving goods vehicles. Over 2.15 lakh goods vehicles of various capacity ranging from one tonne to 20 tonnes ply on the roads. As many as 57 trucks and lorries were involved in accidents in the city and another 98 in the rural limits of the district in 2012.

Transport planners say the heavy vehicles do not complement the passenger transport vehicles of the capital and suburbs. It has been pointed out that a high percentage of goods vehicle accidents are ‘side swipe’ caused due to insufficient road width.