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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Panic button and Vehicle Tracking System now must on new buses, taxis in Mumbai

The Central government has made it mandatory for all new vehicles plying as public transport to have these facilities to ensure passenger safety.

mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2019 12:25 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
New buses belonging to BEST and MSRTC, apart from all the types of new taxis including black and yellow taxis, tourist taxis and app-based taxis will have to install VTS and panic buttons at the time of registration.
New buses belonging to BEST and MSRTC, apart from all the types of new taxis including black and yellow taxis, tourist taxis and app-based taxis will have to install VTS and panic buttons at the time of registration.(HT File )
         

Mumbai’s transport department has started, from Tuesday, cracking the whip on new vehicles used in public transport, including taxis and buses, to ensure they have Vehicle Tracking Systems (VTS) and panic buttons. The Central government has made it mandatory for all new vehicles plying as public transport to have these facilities to ensure passenger safety.

From now on, new vehicles used in public transports (except auto rickshaws and a few other vehicles) won’t be registered if they don’t have VTS and panic buttons.

While the notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) on October 25, 2018 made these features mandatory for new vehicles, it was left to the state government to decide about the existing vehicles.

The Maharashtra government is likely to give some more period for existing vehicles for fitment of these features.

Highlights
  • Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) will help authorities monitor incidences of overspeeding, sharp turning and reckless driving
  • n VTS will help in recording accident cases and avoiding traffic jams
  • n The system help improve the public transport system as a lot of data will be available for research
  • n Panic buttons will allow passengers to seek immediate help from authorities.

While panic buttons will allow passengers to seek immediate help from authorities, including police, VTS allows authorities to locate the vehicle’s location using Global Positioning System (GPS).

According to Regional Transport Office (RTO) officers, the new buses belonging to BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport ) and MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation), apart from all the types of new taxis including black and yellow taxis, tourist taxis and app-based taxis will have to install VTS and panic buttons at the time of registration.

Officers from RTOs are in confusion about the implementation of the Centre’s notification for existing vehicles in the absence of any directive from the state government. However, Shekhar Channe, transport commissioner, said, “The state is in the process of deciding the date of implementation of the rule for old vehicles. The date will be decided shortly.”

The cab drivers’ unions, however, have said cab drivers should not be burdened with expenditure for the installation of the devices.

Bus operators said the government should insist on installing VTS and panic buttons only after creating the necessary supportive infrastructure.

First Published: Jan 02, 2019 12:24 IST

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