NHRC for mandatory purchase of Rs 15 lakh accident cover for truck drivers

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 28-06-2022 20:17 IST | Created: 28-06-2022 20:17 IST
NHRC for mandatory purchase of Rs 15 lakh accident cover for truck drivers
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Observing that the rightful entitlements of truck drivers do not get adequate attention, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued an advisory to the Centre, states and Union territories to protect their interests.

The advisory has recommended that the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 be amended to provide for mandatory purchase of personal accident cover for an amount not less than Rs 15 lakh for each driver, co-driver and helper of a commercial truck.

The NHRC has written to the Union ministries and departments, chief secretaries of states and administrators of UTs, asking them to implement its recommendations in the advisory and has sought ‘Action Taken Report’ within three months. Some of the other recommendations include providing cashless treatment to drivers, co-drivers and helpers injured or incapacitated in road accidents, establishing and regularly maintaining driver rest stops and lay byes consisting of parking area, furnished rest rooms, restaurants providing food and beverages at reasonable rates, mechanic shops, medicine shops, doctor’s clinics, etc. at regular intervals, not exceeding 40 kilometres, along national highways and at prominent locations along the state highways and other major district roads.

''Establish fully equipped Trauma Centres at regular intervals along highways to extend emergency to victims of road accidents. Launch a special drive to create awareness and register all truck drivers, co-drivers and helpers on e-Shram portal to avail benefits of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-ABJAY) as well as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PM-JJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PM-SBY) and Old Age Protection under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mann Dhan (PM-SYMD),'' read the advisory.

NHRC chairman Justice Arun Mishra had chaired a Core Group meeting on Business and Human Rights on the issues of commercial truck drivers and had expressed serious concerns over the plight of commercial truck drivers and suggested collaborative, pragmatic and implementable solutions to safeguard their rights.

The NHRC has also proposed to launch a Group Insurance Scheme providing for life as well as health cover for truck drivers on payment of a nominal subsidised subscription and minimising physical interface between truck drivers and law enforcement agencies by providing online facilities for auto-generation of challans for over-speeding, grant and renewal of registration and fitness certificates, permits and licences, payment of taxes and penalties only online besides storage of vehicle related documents.

''Installation of speed cameras at regular intervals along highways for detection besides, mandatory installation of vehicle location tracking devices in each truck to track and detect over speeding. Establish an online portal and a round the clock helpline to receive complaints along with evidence (photographic, videographic and documentary) from truck drivers,'' it said. The other recommendations include deployment of highway patrols in the areas vulnerable to exploitation by anti-social elements, formulation of an SOP to govern seizure of trucks and arrest of drivers, co-drivers and helpers in cases involving road accident, overloading and violation of other laws. ''The SOP may contain inter-alia an exhaustive list of cases where arrest of drivers or seizure of truck may be made,'' it read.

It also suggested institution of award and cash incentives to honour drivers observing responsible driving. While issuing the advisory, the commission has observed that despite making the significant contribution to the economy of the nation, the rightful entitlements of the truck drivers do not get adequate attention, as the truck business remains fragmented and unorganised. It also said that majority of the truck drivers do not get social security benefits such as provident fund, pension, health insurance, life insurance, gratuity, etc.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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