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Govt. makes speed governors mandatory for taxis

Published On : 13 May 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy: The Hindu   |  Pic On: photo credit: The Hindu

Mumbai, (The Hindu): In a bid to curb speeding and reduce related accidents, the State Transport Department has made it compulsory for taxis operating in the State to have ‘speed governors’ installed. The speed governor is a device to measure and regulate the speed of a vehicle.

In January this year, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) had said that notifications had been issued by the Supreme Court in 2002 and 2009 concerning installing speed governors in all commercial vehicles, but the directions were not followed by State governments.

“To follow the orders of the Government of India, our department issued a notice on Thursday, which has also been on the website of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,” State Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam said. “Now, all passenger and goods vehicles must have speed limiting devices.”

Mr. Gelam said the order to make speed governors mandatory has been issued after a recent amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules.

Taxi owners and drivers have, however, opposed the decision and threatened to launch a stir if speed governors are made compulsory. Mumbai Taximen’s Union leader A.L. Quadros said, “This decision has been taken under pressure from the manufacturers of speed governors. We are going to meet the Transport Commissioner to put forward our concerns and demand a roll-back. If the government remains adamant, then we will protest.”

A senior official from the transport department rejected the taxi union’s claims, saying they were only implementing a Central order. According to NRSC, the top six states where incidents of road mishaps are highest are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana.

Traffic Police officers said while latest numbers on accidents due to speeding were not immediately available, the issue is a serious one for them. Joint Commissioner of Police(Traffic) Amitesh Kumar said, “Speeding and the resultant accidents are, in any case, a priority for us and we are acting accordingly on the issue. We are installing 23 speed cameras across the city. Six have already been installed, three each on the Eastern Freeway and the Bandra Worli Sea Link. The rest will be installed soon.”

Both Ola and Uber, which operate large taxi fleets in the city, declined to comment.

Mahesh Kumar, a Ghatkopar resident, welcomed the idea. “We have seen many accidents involving taxis on the Eastern Freeway, for example. Wearing seat belts should also be made compulsory in taxis,” Mr. Kumar, who works with an architecture firm, said.

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