Kochi

Tipper trucks continue to pose danger

Seven lives lost in the first four months of the year in Ernakulam district

With a boom in the construction sector, the district is witnessing more tipper trucks criss-crossing its roads. Unfortunately, the fatalities involving these vehicles have also become all too common.

The safety risk posed by trucks transporting construction materials has once again come into focus, with the vehicles claiming as many as seven lives in the first four months of 2017. The district stands second to Malappuram, which reported 12 out of the total 54 deaths across the State during the same period.

According to official estimates, tipper lorries have claimed 127 lives in Ernakulam since 2012, the highest in the State.

As many as 91 of these deaths were reported from Ernakulam Rural district, which has become a hub of illegal granite quarries and red earth mining.

The staggering numbers, recorded over the last five years, come against the claim of an “intensive crackdown” on reckless tipper lorries by law enforcing agencies.

Cases

They have so far registered 781 cases against tipper lorries across the State between January and April this year.

The total number of cases registered in 2016 was 2,380 as against 2,679 in the previous year.

According to the Motor Vehicles Department, the main reason for accidents is rash and negligent driving. But they are often attributed to exhaustion among drivers. Besides, over-speeding, combined with excess loading, has a considerable impact on the brake efficiency of these vehicles, leading to accidents.

‘Rules ignored’

According to K.G. Samuel, Deputy Transport Commissioner, Ernakulam, tipper lorry drivers often tend to ignore traffic rules and give scant regard to other motorists.

“We have been registering a monthly average of 100 check reports against tipper lorry drivers for violations, and most of these cases are reported from the rural district where the reach of enforcement agencies is limited,” he added.

Meanwhile, sources pegged the number of tipper lorries plying in Ernakulam at 25000, with most of them being operated in the eastern parts of the district where illegal mining has gradually evolved into the nature of an organised crime.

Commenting on the issue, Johnson Padamadan, general secretary of Kerala Taurus Tipper Association, said the accident rates had come down considerably over the years as truck owners had upgraded to new vehicles with extra safety features.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 8:41:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/tipper-trucks-continue-to-pose-danger/article18719845.ece

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