APPARENTLY WORRIED over the increasing cases of road accidents in the State, the State Government is planning to mandate a speed governor (a speed controlling device) on commercial vehicles to force the vehicles to operate at a fixed and safe speed.
A speed governor, also known as a speed limiter, is a built-in device that allows a vehicle engine’s speed to be preset. The speed governor of every transport vehicle shall be so set that the vehicle is incapable of being driven at a speed in excess of the maximum set speed, except downhill.
Though the issue of the maximum speed limit to be set in the vehicles is yet to be sorted out, the majority view is in favour of capping the speed at 60 kmph.
“Yes, we are planning to make it compulsory for commercial vehicles, especially the heavy ones like trucks and buses, including UPSRT buses, to be fitted with speed governors,” Principal Secretary (Transport) Rajendra Bhaunwal told the Hindustan Times. He said that the government might come out with a notification mandating speed governors in commercial vehicles in a month or so.
However, the unresolved issues that are delaying the notification are the point where the maximum speed limit be capped and where the devices be purchased from by the vehicle owner. The majority view is that the speed should be capped at 60 kmph, but another view is that the condition of roads in the State has improved in a big way so the 60 kmph speed will not be enough, especially on the high-ways. The UPSRTC management is specially not in favour of 60 kmph speed limit. “Who will sit in our buses if they operate at a slow speed, especially when our buses are competing with trains,” said a UPSRTC officer.
There is also a suggestion that the speed of the vehicles could be fixed depending on the conditions of the roads they operate on.
Bhaunwal said the issue of speed was being discussed to arrive at a consensus.
Besides, he, said that it was also important that people fitted only a quality device in their vehicles to serve the real purpose. “To ensure this, we will seek tenders from private firms to manufacture/ sell the speed governors as per the specifications laid down by the Central Government”, he said.
Section 112 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act already provides for a controlled speed of vehicles. It says that no person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place at a speed exceeding the maximum speed fixed for the vehicle under the law. As a corollary to this provision, Section 117 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules provides that such transport vehicles as may be notified by the Central Government shall be fitted by the operator with a speed governor approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
The fitting of speed governors in the vehicles, as a senior transport officer pointed out, would reduce highway accidents and car-truck/bus collisions would especially be less severe. He also said it would improve the environment and save fuel once the drivers were unable to over-accelerate. Moreover, there would be less pressure on the truck and bus drivers to reach their the destination at the earliest. “The private buses and maxi-cabs often indulge in over-speeding in their hurry to make more trips and also to lift the passengers first,” he said .