Commercial vehicle operators in NCR to protest stringent new penalties

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 18, 2019

All private commercial vehicles including buses, trucks, tempos, will be off the roads in the national capital region — including Delhi, and adjoining areas of Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad and in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh; between 6 am to 10 pm on Thursday, as the transporters go on a “token protest” regarding higher penalties on traffic rule violations which they allege will result in higher bribes for policemen.

Ambulance and other emergency services will not be affected by this protest.

They are also protesting against insurance companies’ liabilities being capped under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 and are demanding a social security net for drivers.

Steps to prevent bribes

“We are not against higher penalties for motor vehicle violations per se. But, we are against having to pay incorrect penalties. Government should put correct infrastructure in place – such as fitting cameras and collar mics in police uniforms to scientifically prove the traffic violations,” Harish Sabharwal, Chairman, United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA), said.

The rules that a commercial vehicle has to follow should be defined clearly and displayed on a board so that they don’t face unnecessary harassment at the hands of enforcement authorities, said Prabhjot Singh, a Truck Fleet owner from Azadpur Mandi, one of Asia’s biggest vegetable wholesale market.

“We are supposed to drive within one lane. But, there are no bus lanes. Just like MLAs and MPs are asked to declare their assets, the traffic police and their immediate relatives should be asked to declare their assets, which can be rechecked after two years,” suggested Vimal Wahi, Joint Secretary, Delhi Contract Bus Association. Such a move will prevent bribes, he felt.

Petty challans

AP Unniyal from Uttarkhand of All India Motor Transport Congress said they are being “challaned” for having advertisements on their vehicles. Kashif, complained that his Eicher truck, which is yet to complete ten years and has a pollution under control certificate, has been challaned in Delhi because it is of BS III make.

Commercial vehicles pay parking fees – ranging from ₹2,000-8,000 – to Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) every year -- but we don’t get parking space, rued many transporters including Ram Dayal from an organisation representing Azadpur Tempo and Trucks.

Published on September 18, 2019

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