Truck Drivers Strike in India UPSC NOTE

 What is the hit-and-run clause?

  • Section 106 (1) of the BNS says, “Whoever causes death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.

  •  It shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years.

  • Also be liable to fine.

  •  Section 106 (2) states, “Whoever causes death of any person by rash and negligent driving of vehicle not amounting to culpable homicide,

  • Escapes without reporting it to a police officer or a Magistrate soon after the incident

shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

  • Section 304A of IPC, which will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the punishment for causing death by negligence is two years imprisonment and fine, or both

  • The BNS also does not provide the relief provided under Section 134 in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which lays down the duty of a driver in case of an accident and requires him to secure medical attention.

How did the govt. respond to the strike? 

  • On January 2, the MHA held a meeting with the AIMTC, following which Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla appealed to drivers to return to work assuring them that the new law had not been implemented yet.

  •  Any decision to invoke Section 106 (2) of the BNS would be taken after consulting the AIMTC.

  • While this helped dampen the protest, truck drivers have distanced themselves from the AIMTC which they say is a transporter’s body and doesn’t represent them

  • Truck driver’s associations in several States, including the All Punjab Truck Operator’s Union (APTOU), continue to hold demonstrations through roadblocks, and have threatened to further intensify their protest in the coming days if the government fails to withdraw the penalties.

  • Truckers have said the changes in the new law have been brought without any consultations with them. 

  • They say that the jail term and fine are too steep for drivers who earn only ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 per month.

  • The new law fails to provide a detailed accident investigation protocol in the country, in the

absence of which drivers of heavy vehicles will continue to be deemed guilty even before an investigation is conducted. 

  • President of APTOU, Happy Sandhu, says there is a need for better enforcement of traffic violations such as overloading of trucks and a check on movement of tractor-trolleys on roads which is prohibited, and implementing the permissible working hours laid down under the Motor Transport Workers’ Act, 1961 which caps it at eight hours

  • He has also called for the need for driving training and provision for insurance for them.

What do road accidents data say about hit-and-run cases?

  • A total number of 4,61,312 road accidents were reported across the country in the calendar year 2022, claiming 1,68,491 lives

  • Of these, 56% accidents and 60.5% of fatalities occurred on National and State Highways.

  • Trucks accounted for 9% of total accident deaths and buses 3.5%. 

  • Hit-and-run cases were 18.1% of total accident deaths

  • Truck drivers are a vulnerable category of road users and easy targets for the police who tend to deem drivers of heavier vehicles guilty.

  • Therefore, there is a need for police training in not just implementing the IPC (now BNS), but also in how to establish rash and negligent driving with the help of driving regulations such as the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations 2017.

  • He also underlined the need for better use of forensic evidence for violations such as speeding by capturing tyre marks, which is absent

  • There are many factors beyond the control of drivers of heavy vehicles, such as assigning the left-most lane on roads for buses and trucks which are also used by cyclists and even pedestrians where there are no footpaths.

  • And finally, there is the issue of driver fatigue which should be addressed by regulating their working hours as well as ensuring that their truck cabins are ergonomic so that they are comfortable and in better control of the vehicle they are driving.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Truck Drivers Strike in India UPSC NOTE
Truck Drivers Strike in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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