Muscat: Overloaded trucks on highway are a major safety hazard for motorists, with as many as 68 per cent of trucks plying on the Sultanate’s roads found to have violated the weight law in 2015, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Transport (MoT).
Out of the 18,260 trucks, which were weighed last year, 12,410 were found to be violating the weight law.
Most violations were recorded on the Al Rusail-Nizwa road followed by the Al Batinah road, data revealed.
Also, the highest number of violations in 2015 was recorded in December, with 1,290 trucks caught violating the law (80 per cent), as per the MoT statistics.
Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, said that since last year the ministry has been monitoring the goods carriers through mobile systems.
“As there are many alternative routes, there are still some could have violated the rules. However, along with the ROP (Royal Oman Police), we are trying our best to enforce it, but people are still exceeding. We expect it to go down and on the new roads, fixed stations will be used, which will improve enforcement of the rules,” he said.
Meanwhile, motorists and road safety experts said overloaded vehicles pose two types of threats.
“Fellow motorists may ram into the goods protruding from their platform especially at night and secondly, the axle and wheels may collapse, unable to bear the load,” they said.
Then there are chances that the driver of an overloaded vehicle may lose control and cause accidents. “This is simply because its weight is not properly distributed across its axles,” a safety expert said.
Daryle Hardie, chief executive officer, Safety First, said motorists should drive carefully whenever they spot any overloaded trucks on the roads.
“We have to remember that they can’t see us at times, but we can see them on roads,” he said, adding that it would be always wiser to keep a distance from them.
Residents said that instead of penalising the driver of the vehicle, the companies, which overload their vehicles to save trips, should be punished.
“I try to stay away from these trucks as much as possible when I’m travelling on the highway as their load seems too insecure and may fall at any moment. I feel that companies, which try to save money at the cost of people’s lives by overloading these trucks to save time and trips, should be heavily fined and punished,” said Mohammed Al Kindi, a resident of Sohar.