If caught, violators need to pay a penalty ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 only

The tragic accident near Belgaum early on Saturday has raised afresh the issue of illegal transportation of people in goods transport vehicles and risking their lives under the very nose of the officials of the Transport Department and Traffic police.

Had the RTO check-posts between Yadgir and Belgaum district prevented the driver from transporting people in the goods carrier, the lives of so many would have been saved?

The practice of transporting people is not rare and this is not the only such accident to happen in the State. Transporting people without valid permission in goods carrier is illegal and an offence under Section 177 of the MV Act. As per this section: “Whoever contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rule, regulation or notification made there under shall, if no penalty is provided for the offence, be punishable for the first offence with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, and for any second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to three hundred rupees.

Penalty

Apparently, the drivers, if caught by transport authorities, get away with a penalty ranging from just Rs.100 to Rs.300, and thus don’t take the law seriously.

Regional Transport Officer V.K. Hemadri, who also visited the accident spot on Saturday, told The Hindu that the officials of his department have been conducting sudden raids on national and State highways passing through the district, besides on other major roads connecting cities and towns, both during day and night. The violations were noticed more in Saundatti, Ramdurg and Bailhongal taluks in the district. The drive was launched to bring down the menace last month, during which the department collected over Rs. 8 lakh as penalty.

Meanwhile, Minister for Sugar, Small Scale Industries and Muzrai Prakash B. Hukkeri, who hails from Belgaum district, said he would speak to the Transport Minister and insist on opening check-posts on all major roads, including national and State highways and major district roads to check overloading by trucks, buses and other vehicles, transportation of passengers in goods vehicles, drunken driving.

This would go a long way in bringing down road accidents, he said.

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