SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) released a nation-wide, multi-city research report on the working conditions and safety status of truck drivers along with other factors impacting road safety of truck drivers and other road users in India.
The study conducted in partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra covered over 1200 truck drivers and over 100 fleet owners as respondents and was conducted across 10 transportation hubs in India – Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Kanpur, and Vijayawada.
According to the findings of the report, on average, respondents drive for about 12 hours a day, with almost 50 percent of them driving continuously, even if they feel fatigued or sleepy. Overall, one in five respondents admitted to taking some kind of drugs during trips. The proportion of such respondents was highest in Kolkata followed by Kanpur and Delhi NCR. In all three cities over half of the respondents confirmed driving under the influence of drugs.
The study revealed that 53% of the drivers were dissatisfied with their profession due to low and irregular income, harassment from officials and unscheduled working hours. Health problems like severe backaches, joint/muscle/neck pain and stomach problems and lack of social security also contributed to their dissatisfaction.
VK Singh (Retd), Minister of State, Road, Transport and Highway, said that “The report highlights some very pertinent issues in the trucking industry that lead to unsafe roads for both drivers as well as road users. The Central Government is taking a number of initiatives to improve the condition of road safety in the country. The new Motor Vehicle Act increases brings in reforms such as improvements in driver licensing system, recall of faulty vehicles and electronic monitoring & enforcement to reduce corruption.