A high-level investigation conducted by a team of State transport officers into last week’s Tiruppur accident, in which 19 passengers of a Volvo bus of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation had lost their lives, has endorsed the findings of the Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) that the tragedy was a result of the truck driver’s negligence.
It also found that the GPS equipment fitted with the truck had not been tagged to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) concerned.
RTO P. Sivakumar, in his initial inquiry, had found that the trailed container truck had jumped off the median and slid onto the opposite lane before ramming the KSRTC bus as a result of the driver’s negligence.
The investigation carried out by a team led by Deputy Transport Commissioner (DTC) M. Suresh found fault with the motor vehicle inspectors who provided fitness certificate to the truck for failing to tag the vehicle’s GPS equipment.
According to State transport authorities, it is the responsibility of the motor vehicle inspector (MVI) to ensure that the GPS equipment is tagged to respective RTO office. MVIs are increasingly found to be ignoring to tag the GPS while giving certificates about the GPS at the time of the fitness procedures. Had the GPS been tagged to the RTO office, the authorities could have verified from their control room the actual speed of the truck at the time of the accident. Transport authorities will now have to seek the help of Bharat Benz to get the GPS data of the truck.
A senior transport officer said although it was mandatory to tag the GPS equipment in heavy vehicles with the RTO office, many vehicles in the State were running without a tagged GPS machine. “MVIs and AMVIs are to blame for not tagging the GPS,” said the officer.