Kerala RTC bus crash: To avoid accidents, each lorry should have 2 drivers recommends RTO
The Palakkad RTO’s (enforcement) report has confirmed that the accident where 19 people died in Avinashi of Tirupur district in Tamil Nadu, was a result of carelessness of the lorry driver.
It was because the driver either dozed off or drove carelessly that the accident took place, the report by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) says.
The driver’s argument that the accident was the result of a tyre burst doesn’t hold, the report concludes.
During inspection, it was confirmed that the tyres were not dated. The tyres have marks of the divider as a result of the collision. This can be taken as conclusive proof that the driver was driving recklessly, says the report, which has been submitted to the Transport Commissioner.
The report also contains suggestions to avoid such accidents in the future.
It recommends that each lorry should have two drivers. Speaking to TNM, Sivakumar, Joint RTO of Palakkad said, “The rule was to have two drivers on each lorry, earlier. But in 2018, this rule was amended and now the requirement is to have only one driver in every lorry. It was a Central Act amendment. So, we have now given a suggestion that this rule should be brought back.”
Lorry bays should be built along the highways for lorry drivers who drive long distances to rest and catch up on sleep, the report says. “Another suggestion we have given is for creation of lorry bays so that the drivers can park their vehicles and take rest and also for provision of rest rooms for the drivers. These facilities have to be provided by the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India). We have issued a direction in this regard as well. These facilities don’t exist in Palakkad or even Thrissur districts as of now,” said Sivakumar.
Sivakumar added that drivers are mostly doing back-to-back trips at night and this is the reason they sometimes get fatigued and there are chances for them to doze off while driving.
Preliminary investigations by the police into the horrific accident have revealed that the driver of the Benz container lorry lost control of the vehicle after he slept off while driving. Police say that 38-year-old Hemraj, the driver of the lorry, dozed off around 150 metres before, from the site of the accident.
Nine people, who suffered grievous injuries in the mishap, are admitted to Tirupur government hospital.