Concerned over safety hazards due to overloaded trucks on national highways, a Parliamentary Standing Committee has asked the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways to explore the possibilities of reforming the provisions to charge toll on the basis of weight of the vehicles, instead of axle-based toll collection.
The Committee strongly feels that overloaded vehicles not only cause severe damage to the roads, but also pose a significant safety risk to other vehicles plying on the road, said the report recently tabled in the Parliament.
It recommended that the Ministry may explore the possibilities of reforming the provisions to charge toll on the basis of weight of the vehicles, instead of axle-based toll collection. The Committee feels that the implementation of weigh-in motion system to issue automated challans/penalty would eliminate the possible collusion of corrupt officials with the heavy vehicle owners and help curb the menace of overloading.
The Ministry may undertake a systematic study of the damage caused by overloaded trucks on National Highways and the negative impact of the same on the longevity and safety of the highways, it said.
Immediate measures shall be taken to curb the menace of overloaded vehicles on National Highways such as rectifying weighing machines which are non-functional for a long time, said the report.
“Hefty fines should be imposed on vehicles not abiding by the limits. The Ministry may coordinate with the concerned Ministries and State Departments to introduce provisions for penalty on the consignor and consignee as well, besides the truck owners. The Committee feels that doing so would deter the loading of excess load from the source itself and prevent damage to NHs while also improving road safety,” said the Committee in its report on national highways.