The Government has brought in a graded penalty system for overloaded vehicles plying on the national highways. The overloading penalties range from two-to-ten times the chargeable toll depending on the extra weight that a truck is carrying.

The new rules came into effect recently. The earlier rules involved charging 10 times the toll fee irrespective of the extent of excess load that a truck was carrying. Overloaded vehicles are asked to pay fines because they tend to damage the roads and are also unsafe, as they topple at times and become a safety hazard.

According to the new rules, for carrying extra load of 0-20 per cent over the total permitted weight, vehicles will have to pay twice the toll fee. For carrying 20-40 per cent excess load over permitted limit, the penalty becomes four times the toll charges that a trucker is supposed to pay. For carrying 40-60 per cent extra weight, the toll charges that a trucker will have to pay is six times, while for carrying 60-80 per cent excess load, the penalty is eight times the toll charges. For carrying any extra weight over 80 per cent, the toll fee becomes 10 times.

The earlier rules also involved offloading the extra load close to the toll plaza where overloaded trucks were caught plying, before allowing them to move forward. Road developers had difficulty in implementing the rules.