Some of us have a fixed perception that truck drivers are reckless and are solely answerable for the numerous misfortunes each year.
But very few people know how much courage it takes to be a truck driver in our country. The deplorable work conditions of drivers in our country increases their stress.
Truck drivers in our country are never treated with the respect they deserve. Compared to other developed countries, truckers in India are poorly paid and truck drivers are often portrayed in a negative light in the media as well.
Rules and regulations have been set up by the Government but improper implementation of laws has led to the unfortunate condition of truck drivers. Laws have been set under the Motor Vehicles Employees Act of 1961.
According to these laws, a truck driver is eligible to a minimum salary of Rs. 5,000 and protection and some benefits in case of accidents. But in reality drivers are paid anything between Rs 1000 and Rs 3000. Truck drivers have to work for particularly long hours with only single night breaks in the middle of trips that can stretch over days.
It is a common exercise amongst transport enterprises to over-load trucks which again creates risks of overturning trucks. They are often forced to work by imposing political pressure and threat of violence. Drivers who try to associate with the union are fired, threatened and beaten up.
Truck driver's are the most significant part of this country's transport industry. Due to all the organizational problems they face, they turn to reckless driving and this in turn leads to unfortunate mishaps.
We can avert the loss of innocent lives by improving the working conditions of these drivers.