SC lens on killer truck rods - Centre reply sought on jutting-out danger

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  • Published 16.07.13

New Delhi, July 15: Supreme Court today sought the Centre’s response over a plea to ban ferrying iron and steel rods or other objects that jut out of trucks, posing threat to public safety across India.

A bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and J.S. Khehar directed the Centre to submit its response within four weeks to a PIL filed by voluntary organisation Save Life Foundation that sought prohibition on the unsafe transportation of protruding objects.

According to petitioner and NGO founder Piyush Tewari, construction companies transport rods longer than vehicles, which cause them to protrude, either impaling others or causing vehicles to swerve dangerously to avoid them.

He added the lack of laws banning this practice led to indiscriminate loss of lives.

In April, a software engineer in Noida lost his life when iron rods sticking out of a truck pierced his car and then his body.

“The necessity of addressing this issue is compelling due to the large number of accidents that have occurred due to vehicles carrying protruding materials. Accidents can easily be avoided by enforcing uniform standards,” the petition stated.

Rule 93(8) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, permits protrusions up to a one metre or 3.28ft beyond the rear-most point of a vehicle. “Such protrusions cause severe harm to motorists and other road users. Keeping Indian road and traffic conditions in mind, it is a provision that is fraught with danger,” the petition stated.

The petition used realistic instances to highlight the dangers. “When a truck carrying a consignment of iron rods suddenly stops, the vehicle behind it is caught unawares,” the PIL said.

The PIL also stated that the existing legislation did not contain any provision or safeguard to regulate the construction industry and the means of transporting rods. “Regulation of the construction industry and imposition of liability on the person or company responsible for transporting the material, in addition to the driver of the vehicle, is absolutely necessary,” the PIL said.