GPS panic buttons mandatory on public vehicles from April 1
GPS devices shall be fitted by the manufacturer or dealer or the operators.
All taxis, buses and public transport vehicles, barring three-wheelers and e-rickshaws, will have to install location tracking device or GPS and an alert button from April 1. The road transport ministry has reiterated the deadline amid reports that most of the states had not done much to meet the target.
“From 1st April, 2018, passenger transport vehicles including taxis and buses are to be mandatory equipped with GPS devices,” the ministry tweeted on Wednesday. A senior official said there will be no extension to roll out these passenger safety measures in public transport vehicles.
These devices shall be fitted by the manufacturer or dealer or the operators.
Though initially the ministry had proposed mandatory installation of CCTV cameras in buses having more than 23 seats, the proposal was dropped due to privacy concerns. “Three-wheelers have been kept out of these mandatory installation of GPS and alert button since they are open. Passengers are more vulnerable in vehicles with closed structure,” the official said.
According to sources, the state transport departments are responsible for putting a system in place for tracking public transport vehicles. When any passenger presses the alert button, both the transport department and police control rooms will be alerted for taking quick action.
“Doing things in piecemeal can’t be the solution. Just installing GPS and panic button will not work unless someone is tracking them. There have been many good ideas; now the focus should be on implementing them in the next one year,” said Kalpana Viswanath, co-founder at Safetipin.