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Proposal to Loosen Norms for Heavy-Duty Drivers Concerns IFTRT

Published On Mar 08, 2016By Prashant Talreja

The Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training (IFTRT) believes that the recent move to relax norms for commercial vehicle drivers would impact road safety in a negative manner. Recently, the ministry of road transport & highway issued a draft notification which aimed at lightening some of the cuffs worn by commercial vehicle drivers.

The IFTRT has submitted regular reports on heavy duty truck drivers in the past, including a recent one back in 2007. “The IFTRT report then recommended the commercial vehicles driver training be carried out in ITIs across the country and stakeholders like truck makers, oil companies, general insurance companies, tyre manufacturers and big logistics firms should provide the financial, manpower and modern vehicles to produce trained CV drivers for road safety and efficiency in road transport business. The suggestions were also presented to Planning Commission,” explained SP Singh, a senior professional at IFTRT.

Among the new regulations was a relief in the two drivers' rule for heavy duty trucks, a measure that had just recently gone into effect on the backdrop of bad safety norms. The institute held this move in particular under a bad light, and commented that it was 'ill-conceived'. “The issue of driver educational qualification and permitting single driver as against present two mandated for HCVs needs discussion because the ministry seems to be falling into the trap of transporters, who want to increase their profits by engaging minimum educated drivers and look for single drivers for National Permit trucks,” went on Mr Singh.

A relaxation in the minimum qualification needed for acquiring a license also stokes problems for road safety. Analysts and road safety experts hold that today's vehicles come incorporated with advanced equipment, and this trend requires greater knowledge and qualification from drivers. The basis for lightening the second driver regulation is that truckers plying on shorter routes do not need an extra driver. However, Mr Singh regards this in a different light. “These inter- state national permit holder trucks end up making 10 - 12 round trips per month, say Delhi- Amritsar – Delhi, and effectively cover more kilometers than long haulage trucks with least amount of rest for the drivers,” he said.

See Also:

On Backdrop of Union Budget 2016, Indian Commercial Vehicle Industry Expected to Surge Upward

Indian CV maker's January Exports are on the Rise

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