99% Transporters Facing Legal Issues on Road: AITWA
Moneylife Digital Team 13 September 2022
Almost 99% of the transporters face legal issues while commuting on the road, with every second transporter facing traffic challans across the country, shows data compiled by All-India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA). The Association, along with Lawyered, a legal-tech company, had launched an on-road legal assistance service for truck drivers. The service lawyer on the spot (LOTS) receives calls from drivers whenever they face any issues on the road. 

Up to August 2022, LOTS received 6,920 incidents where drivers needed legal help on the road. The majority or 73.2% of calls sought help in traffic challan and e-way bill issues. Rajasthan, with 40.7% of the total incidents, tops the list. Maharashtra follows with 9.1% and Gujarat with 8.1% incidents where truck drivers needed legal help from LOTS. One of the reasons for higher numbers reported from these states is most vehicles registered on LOTS operate between north and western regions. 

Abhishek Gupta, general secretary of AITWA, says, "On one hand, we say that interception of vehicles is not being done post the goods and services tax (GST). However, AITWA-powered helpline LOTS is receiving so many calls about en-route interceptions. This leads to delays, inefficiency, corruption and higher logistics cost."
According to the Association, truck drivers move across different states and have several challenges in responding to the authorities who stop them regularly for one or other reason. "Once stopped, the driver is intimidated as the officer puts various blames on him without any proof. Due to the lack of knowledge of the law and rights, most drivers give in to greasing palms so that the vehicle is not delayed as they have several other pressures to deal with."
Information shared by the Association shows 60% of calls it received on the helpline were related to transporters facing issues with traffic challan, while 54% were about GST (goods and services tax) or e-way bills. As many as 53% of calls on the helpline were about accidents. About 36% of calls received on LOTS were for complaints of overloading, 32% for theft and 26% were related to document validity, AITWA says.
Registered truck drivers are now calling LOTS, where experienced and trained legal advisers immediately answer queries from the authorities and can counter questions with facts.

"This is helping truck drivers avoid spending Rs500-Rs2000 on each check post or barrier, which affects the overall logistics cost. In many cases where unnecessary penalties were being imposed were minimised by referring to the law through LOTS. With frequent changes in law, it is humanly impossible for a truck driver or truck owner to stay updated. An expert with them throughout the journey is beneficial. In fact, the LOTS service assures reporting of a legal expert at the interception point within two hours for escalated issues which today can take days or be fleeced by touts," says Mr Gupta.
Currently, the number of trucks registered for this service is small, but, once it spreads to all truck drivers and owners, AITWA is sure there will be a huge impact on en-route corruption as well as the overall efficiency of trucks, the Association feels.
5 months ago
This is a useful service for truck drivers. They are common targets for traffic cops, who harass them with many rules and slow down traffic. The State governments should ensure fair and honest behavior from the state Police, but until then, prompt legal assistance is the best.
5 months ago
An excellent initiative.
A replica or extension to assist ordinary citizens, caught in traffic "violations"
would be of great help. It has tremendous potential in curbing palm greasing.
5 months ago
Law makers deliberately make amorphous laws to extract bribes.
5 months ago
Excellent initiative!
5 months ago
LOTS is a good initiative
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