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Noida: Drivers abandon overloaded trucks, retrieve these later to avoid penalty

Using GPS technology, owners of overloaded dumpers who are plying illegally on Noida roads turn off their vehicles remotely when drivers are confronted by officials of the enforcement wing of the transport department.

noida Updated: Mar 18, 2018 23:17 IST
Snehil Sinha
Snehil Sinha
Hindustan Times
truck,Noida,penalty
The drivers return after officials have left the scene and take their vehicles, officials said.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

Drivers of overloaded commercial vehicles are using technology to skirt the law and are thereby, causing snarls on city roads.

Using GPS technology, owners of overloaded dumpers who are plying illegally on Noida roads turn off their vehicles remotely when drivers are confronted by officials of the enforcement wing of the transport department. The drivers then escape, leaving the heavy vehicles in the middle of busy roads.

In one such incident, a stranded dumper led to congestion on Amrapali Marg, the road connecting Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi to Noida, from 6.30pm to 7pm on Saturday.

The drivers return after officials have left the scene and take their vehicles, officials said.

“We have three enforcement teams, each consisting of one assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) and three police officers. Once the driver escapes, it is not feasible for the team to waste time waiting for that one driver and penalise one vehicle in the entire day,” AK Pandey, ARTO-administration, said.

The teams conduct surprise checks but the drivers are informed by their sources and fellow drivers about the locations where checking is going on.

“The drivers inform the vehicle owners and flee before we can reach them. The owners, sitting miles away, lock their vehicles through their GPS devices. Once locked, these vehicles cannot even be moved off the road easily,” Pandey said.

Overloaded vehicles have been a major cause of snarls, collisions and also cause pollution.

“Overloaded vehicles cause road safety issues. Along highways, there are frequent crashes because of tyres bursting or brakes malfunctioning due to the excess weight,” Anil Jha, superintendent of police (traffic), said.

Transport experts have suggested strict action should be taken against all such vehicles. However, lack of resources and obsolete technology of weighing scales available with the authorities hinder strict enforcement of the law.

Sometimes, police officials tow away such dumpers and trucks from the main road in order to clear traffic. However, if the abandoned vehicles are too long or carrying a heavy load, the cranes cannot tow them away. In the absence of any evidence of a serious crime/traffic violation, the police cannot impose a heavy penalty on these vehicles.

In rare cases, the dumpers are towed by hydraulic recovery vehicles to the Highway Traffic Management System (HTMS) ground near Mahamaya flyover.

“We can only penalise these heavy vehicle drivers for an amount of Rs100, for wrongful parking or Rs500 for road obstruction. Also, we usually move it to a side of the road to ease traffic flow and inform the RTO team,” a police officer said.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the transport authority can issue a fine Rs2,000 per tonne for first tonne and Rs1,000 per each tonne, for overloading.

The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which is expected to be approved by the parliament soon, proposes to double the penalty for overloading. Additionally, the owner of the vehicle will also be penalised, besides the driver, for overloading.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 23:17 IST