May 9, 2015 1:57:25 am
Raising serious concerns over recurrence of accidents because of slow-moving vehicles, including bullock carts, a Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (MACT) has directed the Delhi Traffic police to file an action taken report (ATR) within two weeks over the regulation of movement of slow-moving vehicles, especially animal-driven vehicles.
Additional District and Sessions Judge A K Mendiratta, directing police to file an ATR within two weeks, said, “Considering the hazards of transportation by bullock carts and the danger of putting the other users of vehicles at risk during transportation at prohibited timings or areas, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) is directed to take necessary steps to book the violators to prevent the recurrence of accidents.”
The directive came in a road accident case where Rajesh, who was plying a bullock cart loaded with iron sariyas for delivery was hit by a vehicle that could not be traced. The incident had taken place near Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi.
The court further observed that the “use of bullock carts for purpose of transportation of timber or unwieldy metals like sariyas or iron girders or other articles exceeding the length of the carts needs to be regulated to prevent obstruction to traffic or inconvenience to other road users”.
The tribunal also questioned the traffic police over the suffering of animals during such accidents. “It may also be observed that the overloading of bullock carts results in the bulls being roughly and abusively handled in peak traffic for pulling the load, which causes mental and physical harm to the animals,” the MACT said, adding that under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the “state is duty-bound to take steps to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering on animals” as the rights of animals are also statutorily protected under Section 3 & 11 of the said Act.
Taking note of the Delhi Police’s 2001 notification on regulating the movement of slow-moving vehicles, the tribunal said the notification “needs to be given wide circulation indicating the timings and areas of restriction” to ensure proper implementation of the regulations of movement of slow-moving vehicles.
“Proper signages need to be put up near the commercial markets and roads prone to traffic jams where bullock carts are generally used for transportation. Steps must be specifically taken in the stretch of Old Delhi from Idgah to Burfkhana (Subzi Mandi) where the regulation of movement of slow-moving vehicles is required to prevent massive traffic jams,” the tribunal said.
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