Lorries to stop overloading from July 1

Members of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners’ Association (FOKLOA) have unanimously decided to avoid overloading their vehicles with goods from July 1, as prescribed under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The move, according to the FOKLOA, is to ensure that there is no exchange of money between lorry owners and officials of the transport department in lieu of carrying extra load. The move will also ensure safety for commuters.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, FOKLOA president B Channa Reddy said: “From July 1, the lorries which are a part of our association will not carry any additional load other than what is permitted.”

He alleged that even as rules were in place in this regard, the transport department and Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials have not been strictly enforcing them. He said that Section 114 of the Vehicles Act authorises officials to issue notices to the driver/owner and load off the excess cargo on the spot.

He also accused officials of encouraging overloading in exchange for bribes and said some lorry owners preferred overloading to increasing freight charges that lead to rising operational costs.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said in the Legislative Council that several cases of excess load-carrying had been booked in the past few months, including 728 cases for overloading. Further, 109 goods vehicles were seized.

The minister said the transport department was short of motor vehicle officers despite having 418 approved positions, of which, only 118 had been filled. The staff shortage led to the situation of overloaded goods vehicles entering the State, he said. As per the rules, a six-wheel lorry is allowed to carry 10 tonnes, a 10-wheel lorry can carry 16 tonnes and a 12-wheel lorry 21 tonnes

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