The state government on Thursday imposed a speed limit of 80kmph on taxis [black and yellow taxis, app-based cabs and tourist taxis] and small tempos, and pick up vans weighing less than 3,500 kg.
It also made it compulsory for these vehicles to have speed governors, devices that will limit their top speed.
The state government’s order was based on a May 1 notification by the Centre that called for speed governors in all four-wheelers with yellow plates.
The decision aims to make commuting safer but it will also increase travel time, especially on long journeys.
While many commuters welcomed the decision, taxi unions were outraged.
AL Quadros, leader of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union, said, “The Union government took this decision under pressure from manufactures of speed governors. The BJP government uses the slogan — sabaka ka sath sabka vikas, (support of all, progress of all) but it seems that the government has taken this decision only for the progress of speed governor manufacturers.”
“Once speed governors are installed, they will restrict the speed of vehicles to 80kmph,” said a senior RTO official. A source at the RTO said that taxis and tempos would have to be fitted with speed governors when they renewed their fitness certificates.
Quadros said that about 300 taxis returned without a fitness renewal certificate on Thursday as RTOs insisted on speed governors.
Meanwhile, Dayanand Natkar, leader of Maharashtra Rajya Truck Tempo Tanker Bus Vahatuk Mahasangh, said that the transport commissioner should share a list of vehicles that cannot exceed 80kmph to prevent unnecessary trouble for owners of small tempos.
In August 2015, the Centre made speed governors mandatory for heavy vehicles but exempted police vehicles, fire tenders, ambulances, two wheelers, three wheelers and four wheelers weighing less than 3,500kg. But it later modified the rule and made speed governors mandatory for four-wheeler with yellow number plates that can accommodate up to eight people and for goods vehicles that weigh less than 3,500 kg.