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19 Oct 2021, Edition - 2289, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Covai truck drivers turn habitual offenders

Jabez John Anand

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One would imagine that offenders would be worried about authorities who are capable of fining them for violations. But not if you go by the number of violations totted up by drivers and owners of trucks carrying bricks and sand at Thadagam.

The numbers given by the officials are simply astounding. According to a senior official from the North Division Regional Transport Office, on an average officials are fining up to 150 vehicles a month for violations. However, the drivers have become habitual offenders as despite continuous fining by officials, laws continue to be broken.

According to law, the trucks are allowed to carry up to 10 tons of weight (3000 to 3500 bricks each weighing an average of 2.5 to 3 kg or an equal amount of sand) and the weight can vary according to the allowance given in the Registration Certificate (RC) book under registered laden weight. The weight is allotted according to the capacity of the truck.

However, in order to transfer more bricks within the limited time, truck owners are deliberately resizing their trucks by altering the body, which is again a violation.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one brick kiln owner claimed that if they do extra loads in each trip, the labour and fuel charges would decrease in spite of the fine paid to the officials during checks. “We run the risk of willingly paying the fine as we are benefited in the long run,” said the owner.

This additional loading not only makes the owners pay fines but also results in breakdowns in the middle of the trip, according to residents of Thadagam Road who are used to seeing vehicles break down every now and then.
“Even two days ago a truck broke down near Somayanur and a month ago a truck tipped over nearby because of overload. This is just ongoing,” said a resident.

In addition to overloading, the trucks are also not covered properly using tarpaulin so the dust from the vehicle is a hindrance to two-wheeler riders and passers-by.

Not just trucks carrying bricks from the brick kilns, the officials also fine other vehicles including trucks carrying vegetables and fruits for overload, yet violations are still running high.

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