The Nagaland government on Tuesday informed the public that overloaded heavy vehicles will be penalised.
A statement issued by the Motor Vehicles department, Office of the Transport Commissioner of Nagaland, stated, "In exercise of powers conferred under Section 200 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989 as amended by the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, the Government of Nagaland vide Notification No. TPT/MV/3/2013 Dated 12th November has empowered officers not below the rank of Assistant Road Safety and Enforcement Inspector under the Motor Vehicle Department and Sub-Inspector of Police under Police department either before or after the institution of the prosecution offenses committed under Section 194 of MV Act 1988 with fine, and liability to pay for overloading."
It also stated that plying of overloaded vehicles on highways and roads is becoming a complex issue of concern in the state. The problem of overloading of heavy vehicles is so serious that not only is it causing damage to road infrastructure, and rapid deterioration of roads resulting in increased maintenance and transportation costs, especially in Nagaland where most of the roads lack quality but also increasing the possibility of unnecessary loss of life.
The statement also said that overloaded vehicles threaten road safety and are contributing to many fatal accidents on the roads. The overloaded vehicle not only puts the driver at risk but also passengers and other road users.
The vehicle is reduced in its stability, difficult to steer and takes longer to stop, and reacts differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded, it further said.
Overloaded vehicles can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous, and expensive failure or blow-outs, the statement also said.
The driver's control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle are diminished, escalating the chances of an accident, it further stated.
"An overloaded vehicle cannot accelerate normally thus making it difficult to overtake. At night, the headlights of an overloaded vehicle tilt up and this can be momentarily blinding to oncoming drivers. Brakes have to work harder because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading. Brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness to stop", the statement added.
According to the statement, the whole suspension system comes under stress and, over time, the weakest point can give way and can lead to traffic obstruction.
The overloaded vehicle will incur higher maintenance costs to the vehicle - tyres, brakes, shock absorbers, and higher fuel consumption, it also said.
In light of general public safety and awareness, the Motor Vehicles department of Nagaland has informed that any officer of the department authorised on this behalf by the state government will, if he has reason to believe that a goods vehicle or trailer is being used in contravention of section 113 of the MV Act, 1988 require the driver to convey the vehicle to a weighing device, if any, within a distance of 10 kilometers from any point on the forward route or within a distance of 20 kilometers from the destination of the vehicle for weighment.
If on such weighment the vehicle is found to contravene in any respect the provisions of section 113 regarding weight, he may, by order in writing, direct the driver to off-load the excess weight at his own risk and not to remove the vehicle or trailer from that place until the laden weight has been reduced or the vehicle or trailer has otherwise been dealt with so that it complies with section 113 and on receipt of such notice, the driver shall comply with such directions, the statement added.