Four RTO officials in Mumbai injured while testing vehicles
The officials were hurt while conducting tests meant to check the vehicles’ brakesmumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2017 01:03 IST
Regional transport office (RTO) officials, who conduct fitness tests to check the road-worthiness of vehicles, have been left red-faced over a series of freak accidents that have taken place over the past month. Three accidents left four officials injured. Videos of the tests, which are mandated to ensure the safety of drivers and commuters, have gone viral.
The officials were hurt while conducting tests meant to check the vehicles’ brakes. Sources said the accidents resulted from officials’ failure to lock the tempo cabins beforehand.
In each of the accident videos, the tempos’ driver’s cabin falls forward as soon as the inspectors hit the brakes.
The latest incident occurred at the Baramati RTO test track on October 29. Assistant inspector Abhijeet Tarakase, who was driving, suffered minor injuries. A few days earlier, similar accidents occurred at Panvel and Pune. One inspector suffered minor injuries at Panvel, while two were seriously hurt in Pune.
RTO officials said it was likely that the drivers opened the cabin to check the engine and chassis numbers, along with speed-limiting devices, but forgot to lock it securely before the test.
“The cabin dives when brakes are suddenly applied. The force could have dislodged the lock, causing the accident,” said a RTO official, who did not wish to be identified.
Acting on a Bombay high court directive, the transport department has been taking fitness tests seriously for the past few years. Currently, they are conducted on open public roads in the absence of proper test tracks or automated testing centres. “You cannot test hundreds of vehicles on public roads,” said a senior RTO official.
A retired RTO official suggested that an alarm system be installed in tempos to alert drivers who have not locked their cabins securely.