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No fitness certificate for old commercial vehicles without speed governors in Bengal

Bengal transport minister said the decision is in line with a supreme court order.

kolkata Updated: Oct 25, 2017 11:13 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,West Bengal,Commercial Vehicles
Commercial vehicles have been involved in many accidents all over the country, especially on highways where they tend to violate speed limits.(HT Photo)

Alarming figures of fatal road accidents in West Bengal in 2015 and 2016 have prompted the Bengal transport department to decide that certificates of fitness (CF) will be denied to old commercial vehicles manufactured before April 2017 unless they are fitted with speed governors.

Speed governor is a device that prevents the driver from raising the speed of the vehicle beyond predetermined limits.

Read: Road accidents killed 17 people every hour in India in 2016, Delhi most unsafe

“Owners of old commercial vehicles can choose not to install speed governors. But in that case the motor vehicles department would not renew the CFs,” transport minister Suvendu Adhikari told HT.

He said that the rule will be applicable to all sorts of commercial vehicles such as public buses, ordinary and luxury taxis, cars from rental companies, school buses and even SUVs used for ferrying children to and from school.

Incidentally, the commercial vehicles manufactured after April 2017 come fitted with speed governors.

The minister said the initiative is in line with a supreme court order that heavy and medium commercial vehicles should not be registered without speed governors.

Read: Commercial 4-wheelers will have to install speed governors by October 31

The explanation for the government’s strictness can be found in the number of road accidents in the state. According to traffic police data, in 2016, as many as 6,544 persons were killed in 13,580 road accidents in Bengal. The figure was higher than those in 2015 when 6,234 persons lost their lives in 13,208 mishaps.

Desperate to contain the number of accidents, chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched the “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign in July 2016. The decision not to issue fitness certificates to vehicles without speed governors is a part of that campaign.

The minister also hoped that the figures for 2017 would show improvement compared to two earlier years. He pointed out to February 2017 data that recorded 462 deaths from 991 accidents. In February 2016 the figures were 539 and 1,133. The figures of the subsequent months are yet to be compiled, said officials.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 11:13 IST