HC bans transportation of iron rods beyond length of vehicles
The Uttarakhand high court has banned transportation of iron rods (sariyas), iron sheets, girdles, steel pipes and plastic pipes beyond structural length of vehicles till the state government makes rules.
A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh gave these directions while disposing of a public interest litigation filed by Avidit Noliyal, a Nainital-based advocate in 2014. The order was issued on Monday but its copy was made available on Friday.
The HC said it has taken judicial notice of the iron angles, iron rods (sariyas), logs, girdles including iron sheets and fiber sheets protrude outside the transport vehicles.
“These are very fatal. The transport vehicles cannot be permitted to ferry iron rods (sariyas), logs, girdles including iron sheets and fiber sheets protruding/projecting outside the length of the vehicle. Many valuable lives are lost due to the reckless act of the owners of the transport vehicles. The highest numbers of accidents of this type are reported in Uttar Pradesh. The tractor trolleys, trucks, jeeps, bullock carts are the main carriers of these items,” the order noted.
The HC directed the government to make rules prohibiting the carrying of the iron sheets, iron rods, girdles, steel pipes and plastic pipes beyond the structural length/body of the vehicles.
“Till the rules are made there shall be the ban of carrying iron sheets, iron rods, girdles, steel pipes and plastic pipes beyond the structural length/body of the transport vehicles throughout the state of Uttarakhand,” the order said.
The HC said these directions would apply from the source to all the transporters. “It shall be the responsibility of the factory owners and shopkeepers to ensure the due compliance of this order forthwith,” the order said.
The HC also directed the state government to issue necessary instructions to cancel the licenses of those persons found using cell phones while driving.
“Till the state government comes out with the necessary amendment/notification, fine of ₹5,000 shall be charged from every violator using the cell phone while driving,” the order said.
The HC order also noted: “We have also noticed the drivers using a cell phone while driving the vehicles endangering their lives as well as the lives of other persons. These illegal acts are required to be curbed with a heavy hand. Even if the headgears are used by the motor cyclists/ scooterists, it is not ISI mark. It is more ceremonial than effective.”
The petition had originally sought directions to the authorities concerned to strictly implement the provisions of Sections 128 and 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 129 deals with ‘wearing of protective headgear’, while section 128 deals with ‘safety measures for drivers and pillion riders’. But HC expanded the scope of the PIL for the whole of the state.
The HC said it appreciates the steps taken by the government agencies for the enforcement of Section 129 of the Act, but it can still take “judicial notice of the fact that 50 per cent of the scooterists/motorcyclists are not using protective headgear as ordained under Section 129...seriously entailing injuries to themselves.