Speed governors will limit vehicles to 40 km/h

High Court has ordered state to draft a notification making it compulsory for school buses, trucksĀ  to install these devices

Parents with school-going kids can now breathe easy. Very soon, all commercial vehicles including school buses, tempos and trucks plying in the state will have to be fitted with speed-regulating devices, which will limit their speeds to a maximum of 40 km per hour.

Taking cognizance of a PIL filed by the NGO Suraksha Foundation, a bench comprising Justice B B Sinha and V K Tahilramani yesterday ordered the Government of Maharashtra to draft a notice detailing how the speed governors are to be installed.

Senior advocate A Y Sakhare for the Suraksha Foundation argued that it was a more practical idea to limit the speed of vehicles, than spending public funds on installing road signs.

"There are thousands of fatalities on our roads every year, and these speed governors will go a long way in ensuring that speed limits are not exceeded. The governors will also reduce fuel consumption and curb the rising rate of road accidents," he explained.

While discussing the future course of action to be taken by the state government, it was pointed out that the first draft of the rules, drawn up on April 26, 2010, and was later revoked.

The court then directed the state government to frame a new draft of the notification, and present it to the bench by March 15 this year.

The court also took note of the fact that orders from the High Courts in Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi had resulted in the implementation of the provision.

The court said, "We see no reason why the state of Maharashtra should delay the implementation of the governors any further. We are granting the state two more months, after which no concessions will be made."

What's next?
The state government has two alternatives before it: to frame a fresh new notification or modify the existing one.

It will also have to decide whether the rule will be applicable to vehicles in Maharashtra travelling on national permits.

Vijay Patil, the assistant government pleader opined that it would be easier to make manufacturers produce vehicles with speed governors fitted in them, rather than compel all the existing commercial vehicle operators to retrofit the devices.

"There are around 50 lakh commercial vehicles plying at present. Fitting of the speed governors would need to be done in phases."

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