Killer trucks on the loose

October 18th, 2006

HYDERABAD: Killer trucks are on the loose in the city. There have already been 34 deaths due to trucks in the first five months this year.

The accident on Monday, where eight persons were injured when a truck ran amok at Toli Chowki, is just the latest in the list. This accident happened on a route — NH-9 leading to Mumbai — where trucks are permitted. But there are hundreds who are getting away with rash driving on restricted routes in the city. Heavy vehicles are banned from arterial roads — Sardar Patel Road, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Raj Bhavan road, Charminar road, Bank Street — in the city. The situation is even worse in Cyberabad. In areas such as Habsiguda, L B Nagar, it is a free for all.

Moreover, there has been a spurt in accidents involving heavy vehicles on main routes like Mettuguda-Tarnaka, Dilsukhnagar-Malakpet and Retibowli.

In 2004, 85 people were killed by trucks in the city, while the figure was 67 in 2005. According to a UN report, truck driver fatigue due to long hours and sleeplessness was a major cause of accidents. The report suggests states develop trip sheets to overcome this problem, pointing out that 1 pm to 4 pm was the time most of the accidents involving trucks were taking place. Incidentally, the accident at Toli Chowki happened at about 2.30 pm.

The traffic police now want to add eight more roads to the list of restricted routes. The routes, mostly in school zones, have been identified and would be notified shortly.

“A complete ban on trucks carrying 13 tonnes and above would be in place soon irrespective of whether they are local or non-local ones. Studies show that 80 per cent of accidents are caused by trucks carrying heavy load,” deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Anil Kumar said. He added that the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad and the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority have also been asked to develop parking lots for trucks on the city outskirts.

Everyday about 500 cases are registered against various categories of vehicles entering the city illegally. Most of these are trucks. Heavy local vehicles, including buses and trucks, can ply within city limits from 9 pm till 8 am. But during daytime, they are allowed to ply only from 12 pm to 5 pm. While heavy vehicles coming from outside are allowed from 10 pm to 8 am. And they can ply in the city only on select routes permitted by the traffic police.

Though only three national highways — NH-7, NH-9 and NH-202 — pass through the city and account for a mere seven per cent of road length in AP, they are responsible for 36 per cent of deaths. Places such as Medak and Nalgonda surrounding the city are also highly-accident prone.


Entry Filed under: Hyderabad Road Accidents

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