THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of Avinashi accident that led to the death of 19 passengers, the government decided to frame guidelines for national permit trucks and lorries.

The guidelines will cover measures for safe driving during night and number of hours behind the wheel.

“The drivers will have to carry smart license cards which can monitor the driving habits of drivers,” said Transport Minister AK Saseendran, after presiding a meet of Road Safety Authority on Tuesday.

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) will help in linking license cards with a GPS tracking system.

It would help in monitoring how much time a driver takes in covering a trip.  

A three-member committee consisting of Road Safety Commissioner, Labour Commissioner and Transport Commissioner will frame the guidelines.

The Motor Vehicle Department has conducted an enquiry into the Avinashi accident involving a KSRTC Volvo bus and container lorry on February 20.

According to the minister the accident occurred due to careless driving of the container lorry driver. “The container was not locked properly out of negligence.

“We shall take up the issue with container terminal authorities for better monitoring of vehicles,” said Saseendran.

The minister said the state would request the union government to reconsider its decision to limit the number of drivers in long-distance heavy vehicle to one.

The request is based on the findings that drivers often become victims to such accidents due to fatigue.

“The crew change system will be introduced in KSRTC to deal with fatigue. The change will happen after they work for a particular time period,” said Saseendran.

The government also has plans to create a resting place for drivers along highways. The Public Works Department will construct as resting places at 36 locations along state highways and 11 locations along national highways.

The government has also decided to give more teeth to the Road Safety Authority to bring down accident rates.

It has planned to strengthen the enforcement system on major roads, especially during night.

The enforcement squad consists of an officer each from Motor Vehicle Department and police.

The squad will check if the containers are properly locked with the chassis, said the minister.

He claimed that there was 15 per cent drop in accident rates in the state after stricter enforcement.

“We have fined 51 luxury vehicles for flouting rules and fined them a total of Rs 16 lakh,” said Minister.

Avinashi accident victims would get Rs 2 lakh insurance amount in the next day, he said.

The passengers are eligible for a Rs 10 lakh insurance claim. The deceased crew will get Rs 30 lakh from three different insurance schemes.