A highly common and dangerous sight on Indian highways are truck carrying loads way beyond their capacity. Despite transport authorities having regulations on the load-carrying capacities, commercial goods carriers continue to overload the vehicles.
In a move to curb the growing menace, the government plans to install electronic weighing machines at all toll plazas on National Highways to prevent and detect overloading of commercial goods transport vehicles.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has mandated Indian Highway Management Company Ltd (IHMCL), a company promoted by NHAI, to install Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) bridges on public funded fee plazas. NHAI has also informed private investment projects about installing WIM.
The approximate expenditure expected to be incurred on 300 toll plazas for 5 years is Rs 985 crore (Rs 65.63 lakh/ plaza/ year). The project is likely to be completed by September 2016.
Overloading of trucks and LCVs is seen as one of the major causes of accidents on Indian roads. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India had seen the highest number of road traffic fatalities in 2010, and this made up about 11% of global road traffic fatalities.
There has been some good work undertaken by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and WHO’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, where a declining road traffic fatality trend was observed in India for the first time, since 2012. However, road traffic injuries remain a concern as about half a million are reported each year.
According to Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), during the period 2003-2013, India’s reported road traffic fatalities grew by 60%, with around 137,572 fatalities in 2013. China saw a 43% fatality reduction between the years 2004-2012.