Tyre blowouts have led to many fatal accidents in UP
LUCKNOW Worn out tyres, over-speeding, improper air pressure, high temperatures and rampant overloading are believed to be causing an increased number of tyre blowout incidents resulting in fatal accidents in Uttar Pradesh —the state that tops the chart in the number of deaths due to traffic crashes in the country every year.
*Seven people were charred to death when a truck and a van collided near a toll plaza along the Lucknow-Agra Expressway on February 15, 2020. The van’s tyre burst and its impact pushed it to the wrong side of the road, causing the mishap.
*Three migrant labourers were killed and more than 12 injured after a vehicle carrying them overturned on a highway late on May 18, 2020. The vehicle, which was ferrying the people from Delhi, overturned after a tyre burst.
*A bus with 64 migrants on board overturned after a tyre burst on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway resulting in injuries to 18 people on June 14, 2020.
These are just a few examples of reported major road accidents due to tyre blowouts during the last six months in UP.
Eight people were killed when a sand-laden truck overturned and fell over a parked SUV in Kaushambi after one of its tyres burst. The incident is a chilling reminder of the same problem that is often best ignored by authorities.
“The tragic crash in Kaushambi sheds light on how overloaded trucks are a hazard to all other vehicles on the road. Fatal mishaps can occur due to tyre bursts from excessive weight or worn out brakes due to friction,” SaveLife Foundation head, Piyush Tewari, said commenting on the hazard.
According to him, though there were many other reasons for tyre blowouts, the main among them was overloading of passenger and goods vehicles.
“In 2019, overloaded vehicles with improperly secured loads, accounted for about 10% of the total deaths and 8% of total crashes in the country killing 14,320 people,” said Tewari.
UP ranks first, both in terms of overloading related crashes and overloading related deaths in the country, he added.
A transport department official said apart from people’s ignorance with regard to air pressure etc, enforcement agencies, including police and transport department, were also responsible as they often turned a blind eye to the plying of overloaded vehicles.
A large number of accidents on the Yamuna Expressway are attributed to tyre blowouts because of excessive friction on the road that allegedly has design faults.
Some five years ago, the union ministry of road transport and highways also raised a question mark over the quality of tyres produced in India after frequent accidents were attributed to tyre burst.
“The ministry then wrote a letter to the Bureau of Indian Standards to modify rules for the production of tyres as per global standards. But nothing much has changed since,” the transport official said.
“All this makes it important to stringently enforce Section 194A of the amended MV Act, which prohibits the use of overloaded vehicles and rationalises fines to Rs 20,000, apart from manufacturing high-quality tyres and making people aware of precautions like checking the air pressure in tyres before movement,” suggested Tiwari.