for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beware! Trucks on the Highway

Today, 4th September 2011, lives of three young people nearly perished on the Wangdue-Trongsa highway.  I was driving back home after visiting Wangdue town and was exactly on the right track. My speedometer was waving on the 40-50 speed bands. I was about to reach Rabuna (2KM from Wangdue 0 point) when a tripper truck was approaching on a very high speed. The driver was driving on the middle of the road and it did not try to decrease its speed but kept coming towards me. I honked, thinking he may be sleeping or on the phone but in vain. I tried to squeeze myself on the walls of the road and wooosh...dang kalang dong kalang…; it went past me, missing me by mere millimeters. I thought I was saved but something frightful happened again, a boulder fell off the truck. I was lucky that my leg could react on the accelerator pad and miss the lethal boulder. I tried to stop the truck and again in vain. My heart was beating as if I completed a 100m dash and my senses were numb. I stopped for a while and resumed my journey with a still shivering hand and legs or the whole body. God! I was saved and my two passengers too. If I was hit, I would have been thrown down the mighty and ominous cliff (History knows that Trongsa Bus went off this cliff twice, killing many). And also, if the boulder hit my car, it would have crushed us.
  The condition of trucks and its drivers on the highways are unexplainable. The number of trucks on this highway increased lately. Most of them transport stones and boulders from the Kheley kha quarry to the Punatsang Chhu Hydro plant. I learnt from some fellow road users that the way the trucks travel on this road is very hazardous. Compared to 1613 trucks, modern trucks have greater muscle and have a better hand on the comfort in driving. I assume that this same reasons lead to the over speeding of these trucks. We also heard that the amount of trips completed in a day and the maximum weight it carries, determines the profit level of the owners or drivers. (The concerned authority may have a better say here).  You can see a truck carrying loads above their carrier and that too, without any safety measures. Remember, stones are loads which can fall off easily.
My stance here is not to stop the booming number of Bhutanese becoming proud owners of trucks. I am happy that many Bhutanese own trucks as it shows something good. But, I think the concerned offices like the RSTA, Traffic Police, PHPA, Quarry officials, truck owners and the most important, drivers, needs to revisit the present air. There are hundreds of vehicles on the highway and it would be too late if something dreadful happens. The news is already created regarding petty accidents related to trucks, on this very highway.
I am not creating some fictitious situation here. To learn more, drive on the road, or stop some fellow road users and interview them on the condition of trucks and their loads too. I assure that they must have encountered similar deadly situations. Today's encounter is not my first time. Many other road users are frowning over the same issue. Let us pledge to be responsible road users and I pray that the concerned offices would react and help us.

1 comment:

  1. this is the big concern that the authority should deem....and for almost everything on the way truckers cause problem with such reckless driving..