8500 people lost their lives in accidents involving vehicles carrying protruding cargo in 2016.
More than 9000 people died to accidents caused by protruding cargo in 2019, reports an NGO named SaveLife Foundation. Halsuru Police Station, 19 vehicles were booked for Rs 26,000 as a fine in January 2021. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MORTH) has not published any data since 2017 for the same, and the report of 2018 does not specify the category of accidents caused by trucks and lorries.
The Road Transport Ministry had deleted the provision of Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 that allowed vehicles to carry material protruding beyond 1 metre its frame. If the drivers were found violating the rules, they were liable to Rs 1000 in the first instance, and Rs 2000 if they were still found transporting protruding cargo.
Drivers say that contractors measure the material inappropriately and call for smaller vehicles for transportation. “First of all there was no business due to the pandemic, secondly the diesel prices are rising every day and then the customer and contractor tell us that it is up to us to escape from the police”, say Altaf Ahmed.
Prof M.N. Srihari, Adivsor and Consultant for Road safety asked the commuters to take charge and click pictures of the vehicles carrying protruding material and send it to the nearest police station, so that a complaint is registered with a proof. Moreover, there should be a provision defining a specific time when the vehicles can carry sharp material and there should be guidelines so that the contractors do not charge the drivers unreasonably. On the other hand, commuters call for safety norms to be made stricter as they fear for their lives on the roads.