Kerala

Tiruppur accident | Did an amendment to Central Motor Vehicles Rules play villain?

The accident that claimed 19 lives on the Tiruppur outskirts early Thursday.

The accident that claimed 19 lives on the Tiruppur outskirts early Thursday.   | Photo Credit: M_PERIASAMY

Provision for two drivers was annulled in 2018

Did an amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules governing long-distance heavy vehicles operating under the national permit two years back inadvertently contribute to the accident near Coimbatore?

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) feels that such a possibility could not be ruled out though several theories are being bandied around as to how the speeding container truck hit the KSRTC bus. The truck was bound for Bengaluru from Kochi while the KSRTC bus carrying 48 passengers was headed in the opposite direction when the truck jumped the median, and rammed the bus.

Initially, there were reports that a tyre burst led to the accident. But MVD officials say it has all the makings of an accident when a driver dozes off at the wheel. “In such cases, the driver steps on the gas and lose control over the steering wheel,” a senior official said.

Previously, Rule 90 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, stipulated that heavy vehicles with national permit “shall have a minimum of two drivers and shall be provided with a seat across the full width behind the driver’s seat providing facility for the spare driver to sleep”.

However, an amendment to the rules in November 2018 did away with the provision of two drivers enabling national permit vehicles to operate with a single driver. “It was a needless amendment as two drivers are absolutely essential for vehicles engaged in long-distance operations. Since the driver works with a stiff target they risk driving despite being sleepy,” said the official.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:06:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tiruppur-accident-did-an-amendment-to-central-motor-vehicles-rules-play-villain/article30874072.ece

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