Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Overloaded heavy vehicles to be penalised

Transport Commissioner’s office, Motor Vehicles department has warned that overloaded heavy vehicles would be penalised.
The department stated that if any of its authorised officer had any reason to believe that a goods vehicle or trailer was being used in contravention of Section 113 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, he or she would direct the driver to take the vehicle to a weighing device, if any, within a distance of 10 km from any point on the forward route or within a distance of 20 km from the destination of the vehicle for weighment.
And if upon weighing, the vehicle was found to carry excess weight in contravention of the provision of Section 113, he or she might direct the driver to offload the excess weight at his own risk and not allow the vehicle or trailer to move from that place until the excess weight was offloaded. The department stated that the driver would have to comply with such directions.
Further, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 200 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989 as amended by the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, the State government had (vide notification no. TPT/MV/3/2013, dated 12th November) already empowered officers not below the rank of assistant road safety and enforcement inspector under the Motor Vehicles Department and sub-inspector of police to impose a fine of minimum Rs 20, 000 and Rs 2,000 per excess tonne under Section 194 of MV Act, 1988.
According to the department, overloading on highways and roads was becoming a major cause of concern in the State. It claimed that the problem of overloading of heavy vehicles was so serious that it was not only causing damage to road infrastructure, leading to rapid deterioration of roads and resulting in increased maintenance and transportation costs in the State where most of the roads lacked quality, but also increased the possibility of unnecessary loss of lives.
The department specified that overloaded vehicles threatened road safety and contributed to many fatal accidents, stressing that the overloaded vehicle not only put the driver at risk but also passengers and other road users.
Highlighting the various hazards of overloading, the department warned that the vehicle could lose stability, would be difficult to steer, take longer to stop, lead to tyres overheating and wearing out rapidly, which increased the chances of premature, dangerous, and expensive failure or blow-outs, diminish driver’s control and operating space, escalate the chances of an accident and could not accelerate normally, thus making it difficult to overtake.
Further, the headlights of an overloaded vehicle tilted up, which could momentarily blind oncoming drivers, brakes needed to work harder, led to overheating of brakes, thereby losing their effectiveness to stop, etc.
The overloaded vehicle would incur higher maintenance costs of tyres, brakes and shock absorbers, besides leading to higher fuel consumption. This was stated in a DIPR press release.

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