reintroduce two-driver rule trucks in Kerala
The state government has decided to approach the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) to reintroduce the two-driver rule for national permit trucks and lorries.
The state government has decided to approach the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to reintroduce the two-driver rule for national permit trucks and lorries.
The MoRTH had amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rule in March 2018 to allow national permit heavy vehicles to ply with one driver, instead of two. The state Transport Department’s decision to approach MoRTH comes in the wake of the accident at Avinashi near Coimbatore involving a container truck and a KSRTC bus, which claimed 19 lives. The truck had only one driver, who might have dozed off at the wheel, as per the initial findings.
‘Two-driver policy can reduce risk of accidents’
“The rule amendment made by MoRTH is matter of great concern as it allows a national permit vehicle to ply with only one driver. This is resulting in the driver not getting sufficient sleep while on duty. The MVD has approached the transport department to revoke the new amendment. Based on that, the state Transport Department will write to MoRTH for the reinstatement of the two-driver rule in national permit trucks,” said Rajeev Puthalath, Joint Transport Commissioner. According to him, long-distance vehicle drivers should not drive continuously for over three hours. “A driver should not drive more than eight hours a day. But as per data, almost all the commercial vehicle drivers work more than 12 hours a day,” said Puthalath, citing the Avinashi incident. Meanwhile, road safety experts have opined around 40 per cent of accidents along the highway stretch happens when drivers doze off at the wheels. “Earlier, the accidents in the state was mostly due to drunken driving or two-wheeler riders not wearing helmets. But recently, several mishaps have occurred as the drivers fell asleep,” said B J Antony, former deputy transport commissioner.
A preliminary report submitted by the MVD to the Transport Minister blames the container lorry driver for the accident at Avinashi on Thursday. The driver might have dozed off or was speeding, the report said.