Two separate accidents in the city in the last 24 hours have been caused by overloaded heavy vehicles. While the dumper accident on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) on Friday afternoon killed two people, injured six and crushed 18 vehicles, a truck carrying 16 tonnes of paper that turned turtle at Agripada, Vakola at 2.30am on Saturday blocked two lanes of the road for hours, although no one was hurt or injured.
“It was massive operation as we had to first remove the contents of the truck with the help of other trucks and then use a crane to shift the vehicle. Meanwhile, almost two lanes of the road were blocked, causing traffic problems,” said PP Temkar, senior police inspector, Vakola.
Overloaded heavy vehicles like trucks, trailers and tempos are more difficult to steer than a regular car. It is even trickier to suddenly brake big vehicles, which leads to an increased risk of road accidents.
“If a normally-loaded vehicle stops at a distance of 20 metres after braking, an overloaded vehicle will stop after 75 metres. Therefore, the chances of a head-on collision if the driver has to suddenly brake are high,” explained an official from the regional transport office (RTO).
While authorities are aware of the problem, resolving it is proving difficult. A senior transport official, requesting anonymity said, “In the last financial year, we have found 90,000 cases of overloading across the state and collected Rs90 crore in fines. However, even an enforcement drive has its limitations. It’s the transporters’ responsibility to obey the rules. If we conduct a drive, they warn each other to stay off the road for a few hours to evade authorities.”