Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Heavy Trucks Should Be Better Monitored

In view of the high number of road deaths that they have been involved with recently and their potential to inflict heavy damage and paralyse traffic for a good couple of hours monitoring of these heavy vehicles has to be stepped up immediately. And given that many of them travel when they have the roads all by themselves the police should make sure that the drivers feel that they are constantly being watched. Other road users should also do their bit by sharing the information with the authorities in real time.

22 comments:

Kozémotandé said...

The movement of heavy vehicles and its regulations is getting messier by the day. Public roads are becoming like those state lands 'lawfully' occupied by squatters. Reunion Island will be equiped with its tramway network in 2010/11 and we are still debating if there is a need for an alternate mode of transport. Our government is more inclined to pass legislation which paralyses its own procurement procedures to please the World Bank and the private sector than to have visions and make things happen.

Bruno said...

"Other road users should also do their bit by sharing the information with the authorities in real time."

C'est bien comme proposition, but won't it distract the drivers from the road?

I suppose a live monitoring system on all vehicles would be too expensive, or would be infringing civil liberties. It seems the only solution since most Mauritius drivers I met on the road are uncivilised and "uneducable".

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

That what happens when we have leaders of political parties which are either too weak and/or don't give two hoots about Mauritius: Ramgoolam, Berenger and Jugnauth Jr.

Passengers are also road users.Ok, let's make it clear.

Surgeon General Warning to solo road users: don't provide us with real time information. I repeat. Don't provide us with real time information. Please keep your hands on the wheel and stay focus on what's going on.

sanjivP said...

Can't we bold enough and think creatively about solving our deepening road traffic problems?
I suggest we shelf away the expansion of the underutilised Plaisance Airport, use this money to build a suspended highway (ene motorway lors piloti, a 6-8 metres above ground to avoid lots curves and slopes), between Wooton and Terre Rouge, with ample corridors to populated areas and a light monorail under each leg of the highway.

Our Airport only need resheduling so as not to have all aircrafts landing within a small time span, for the time being.

Our roads expansion will save lives, save up to Rs 1.5bn rupees (about 30m lts of uselessly burning extra fuel per year) of fuel + time which can be used to create even more wealth for the country, at least for whose who are so involve.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Sanjiv, kav fer tou sa la en mem tan. Pei ena plin kass. Seki pei pena c ene dimun ek 2 gram leadership a la tet.

akagugo said...

Heavy trucks, buses, motorcycles, cars, SUV's, and more importantly, school vans, to avert this kind of tragic consequences...
NTA and Police "authorities" have still more blood on their hands for failing to do what they are paid forL ENFORCING the laws!

@ Bruno:
the best way to educate drivers is to hurt their pockets. But even the harshest laws are powerless when your "authorities" fail to exert their authority but enforcing the regulations with all the severity required. Why do you think that drunk-driving and speeding are treated as an equivalent of "involuntary homicide" in UK?

akagugo said...

Gruesome stats... Indifference, silence and inertia from the authorities so far...

So is now confirmed that road-users are to blame for authorities' failure to do their job of enforcing the existing array of laws, for the police encouraging violations through their passivity, for the TMRSU not exerting its duty of care in giving its opinion on safest design and operation of a road section... A huge thanks to all these people paid from tax-payers' money.

akagugo said...

Since the time these drivers were complaining about all sorts of technical problems (faulty hydraulics, electronics, too large turning radius, etc) plaguing these infamous buses, a string of accidents, some fatal, most near misses, and now again 10 deaths.
What are they waiting for to enforce the safety regulations for all vehicles?
So, he/she who's got balls to pulling out those vehicles with to Euro-NCAAP rating (QQ Cherry, GWM, Perodua, SSanYong and what not) from our roads gets my votes!
No?
Bien pa sagrin mo la-lang kabri: Save our tears for the next big one...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Seri nwar kontinye. Kat par si. Dis zanfan blese par la. Kamyon siman herezman finn rant dan miray.

akagugo said...

Speed limiter, speed camera tousala sé bann 'downstream measures', la-tizann apré la-morr. Prévension koté la-dan? Planning for averting these situations - unheard of.

Please allow me a 'Matam Kwok' prediction: many more gory acccidents will happen because the approach to these is still focussed on curing the illness, not on prevention. Prevention starts with traffic-themed playgrounds at kindergarten/primary level, educating teenagers responsible beahavior when using roads, and making everyone accountable for safety at all costs - why not incentivise defensive driving and clean sheets with a rebate on the insurance premium? Fines and all come at the end of the chain for the "récalcitrants".

Speaking of safety: why are all these accidents still never cordoned off to prevent the curious ones oggling from too close and hamper rescue services?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Yesterday's JT was mentioning that parliament had in 2010 amended the Road Traffic Act for trucks heavier than 3.5 tons: they had to have a speed-limiting device. The law was promulgated 2 years later (July 7, 2012) and now authorities want to make sure the new provisions are being respected by making spot checks.
The trucks not having those speed-limiting gadgets are liable to a fine not exceeding Rs10,000. Is that tough enough?
I would rather go for if you don't have it you cannot be on the roads.

akagugo said...

Ha! 105 dead already to date, and we've still got one full quarter of the year to go... And you still have buses on "Lane 1", lorries overtaking on the fast lane where speed is limited to 60 for all, motorcycles lane-splitting merrily when they are not plainly ignoring traffic signs.
Probably aided by our very own policemen's deaf-dumb-blind conduct when faced with emergency situations, cheer laxism, outright laziness, or anything else than proper professionalism.

Er, alright, what's the Police Force's parent ministry, by the way?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

In this age where there are so many smart people and codified knowledge is expanding at mind-blowing speeds it's kind of sad to get the feeling that our leaders don't give two hoots about how many lose their lives on the roads.

akagugo said...

Update: 111 already.

They die fast these days...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Bizin fer enn ti chart lor la enn de se zur. 3-4 par semen (wiken?) sa lane la non?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Buses are going to be monitored better this year says the NTA. Especially individual ones. Thing is 15 people died in two accidents in CNT buses: 11 in Soreze in 2013 and 4 in Montebello in 2009. Are these kind of carnages a lot unlikely to happen now as confirmed by the structure of operational incidents?

akagugo said...

Unlikely?
No - they will happen: the same causes produce the same effects, that's a statistical certainty that since nothing has changed for the better, nothing will change in terms of fatalities - about 150 maimed and/or killed for 2017. Half will be those on two-wheelers, the rest shared among pedestrians, cars, buses and lorries.
What will also not change is the vulture culture, that specific way of reporting of our local media: wherever there are dead, they will time and again publish photos of the suffering of the victim's parents - does this bring any value to the reader, except promoting gross voyeurism or generating clicks and web traffic? Also, did you see this sad case of workers getting hit by one truck driven by 'a lady': why selectively publish the names of the victims only but not that of the culprit - is it because of the special brand/type/make of car some drive that exempts them from public disclosure?
Despite spending 2 hours per day on the roads, I hope to be here commenting on these macabre statistics in 2018...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Sorry, my last question wasn't clear enough. What I wanted to know is what do the types and number of operational incidents that we've registered tell us. Doesn't have to involve casualties.

So you spend a full month on the road. What does that say about the fluidity of our road network?

akagugo said...

"Are these kind of carnages a lot unlikely to happen now as confirmed by the structure of operational incidents?
(...) what do the types and number of operational incidents that we've registered tell us"

No. In fact it depends what you define as "operational incident" - an incident ranges from the detection of a verbal escalation between a member of the public and a driver / bus conductor, or number of smoking passengers on the ride, to the serious Soreze-type mechanical failure resulting in several casualties. Basic monitoring of the buses will only tell you, if GPS-enabled, where the bus at pre-defined intervals (it can be set to anything from 5 seconds to 1 hour). Increase in sofistication can mean knowing what speed a vehicle is at, what load it is carrying, status of critical mechanical parameters (fuel levels, hydraulic health, engine oil temperature...) and the server uses the trafffic data to automatically calculate deviations from normal times of arrival and available number of seats for every intermedaite bus stop at every bus stop...
Oops, excuse me for getting carried away.

About spending a month per year on the road: probably more fluid if you are commuting between the North to the South through the M3 and between the Northern and Eastern conurbations along the new Baichoo link roads. But mind you, these are a lot more dangerous due to most drivers taking the stretches between roundablouts for take-off runways which are never patrolled: never any police road block for any check whatsoever there (I have reported so many cases of motorcycles driving against the flow of traffic on the reserve, buses and lorries driving without headlights in the night, 15-seaters parked on the roundabouts waiting for their passengers, etc...) so: pézé mam! They only deserve to crévé mam...
The others stuck on the old roads are still forced to enjoy the morning and evening road-side scenery which includes more and more scenes of people vying for a place on over-crowded and fuming buses, and motorcycles happily lane-splitting more than ever.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

I was thinking more of mechanical problems. See Montebello was a trailer for Soreze. And before 2009 there were so many mechanical failures about CNT buses reported in the media. And I think we talked about this on this blog before. Still it's surprising how few eyebrows were raised by all this operational risk data.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

I am looking at para 71 of the budget which deals with refund of VAT for replacement of old lorries that carry harvested cane. I am wondering how old they are and how a big a risk they are to all of us.

In view of the damage that they can do to us is there a good enough audit in place to keep any of these potentially massive killers off our streets?

akagugo said...

Why go this length of calling the comatose Audit office? Just enforce the second schedule of the Road Traffic (Control of Vehicle Emissions) Regulations (2002), aka GN No. 198 of 2002 and you're done!
Ah, sorry: the Ministry of Environment will also pull up the pretense of 'péna kass' or 'péna dimounn' or still 'péna ekipman' or better: 'kan ti éna tousala, enn bann o-gradé ti al ferr training-la olié teknisyin, mé ziss parski training-la ti dan , alorss bourzwaa-la ki'nn alé... We urgently people with balls to simply do the basic enforcement of our so beautifully-written existing laws...