Ban vehicles carrying protruding materials: Centre

State govts failed to enforce restriction imposed in 2014

Ban vehicles carrying protruding materials: Centre
Miffed at authorities for not enforcing the ban on trucks carrying protruding rods and other materials despite bringing the rule two years ago, the Centre has now asked states to take strict action against violators.

The Union Home Ministry has now shot off identical letters to all states, reminding them of the ban imposed on March 5, 2014, following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court by Save Life Foundation, an NGO.

The letter noted that India has reported the highest number of fatal road accidents in the world, which is a “matter of serious concern” and “many dangerous and fatal accidents” take place because of vehicles carrying loads of protruding rods and other protruding materials. “The Union government attaches the highest importance to this issue and urges the state governments and Union Territory administrations to strictly ensure that no vehicle is allowed to carry protruding loads and other dangerous, protruding materials and strict action should be taken against the violators under the appropriate laws,” it said.

It reminded the states that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had, through a notification, deleted the proviso to Rule 93(8) of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, with the result that no goods carrier is permitted to carry any load, which is protruding outside the vehicle.

Prior to that, rules permitted protrusions up to one metre beyond the rear-most point of a vehicle. “The violators should, therefore, be prosecuted under Section 190 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. The law provides for hefty fine on the owners and consignors of trucks,” the letter sent in second week of January said.

A senior official said despite the ban in place, one could see such trucks and lorries with protruding rods and pipes plying on the roads, sometimes even in Delhi. “The question is whether the ban is enforced. There is a need to enforce it so that precious lives are saved,” the official said. The letter also said that Save Life Foundation has sent letters to all states requesting for a ban on the plying of such vehicles.

“The NGO has also furnished state-wise documentary proof with photographic evidence of the violations, indicating the vehicle number, date and time. The NGO has also sent letters to the Directors General of Police and Commissioners of all states and Union Territories highlighting the ban that has been imposed by law and recommending swift action,” it said.
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