Speed governors must for WB commercial vehicles

Speed governors a must for WB commercial vehicles to get fitness certificates

Speed governors a must for WB commercial vehicles to get fitness certificates

Heavy and medium commercial vehicles plying in Bengal will no longer receive fitness certificates unless they are fitted with speed governors.

Heavy and medium commercial vehicles plying in Bengal will no longer receive fitness certificates unless they are fitted with speed governors.

The state transport department has finally cracked the whip, nearly a year after the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) directed all states to enforce the rule.

The ministry had amended the Motor Vehicle Rules in 2015 after the Supreme Court ordered that heavy and medium commercial vehicles should not be registered without speed governors.

Accordingly, all such vehicles sold and registered after April 1, 2016 have factory-fitted speed governors. The problem was with older vehicles. While some states enforced the rule in 2016 itself, Bengal did so recently. “We have enforced the rule now. Commercial vehicles are no longer being issued fitness certificates without speed governors,” Bengal transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said.

Speed governors are small devices that do not allow drivers to accelerate beyond a certain limit. In this case, some vehicles are allowed a maximum speed of 80kmph, while others, like school buses, can’t be driven at speeds over 60 kmph.

As per a road transport ministry directive, the speed governors need to be tested and certified by one of the four agencies — the Automotive Research Association of India, Central Institute of Road Technology, International Center for Automotive Technology and Vehicle Research and Development Establishment. For heavy vehicles, speed governors cost Rs 15,000-16,000 each. For medium vehicles, they cost nearly Rs 10,000.

“Though this decision was taken by the Centre after the Supreme Court judgement, the ministry was already considering ways to control rash driving. Research has revealed that most accidents involving commercial vehicles occur due to over-speeding. Despite speed restrictions along busy roads, drivers continue to race. It gets extremely difficult to control medium or heavy vehicles when they are moving at high speeds. The only option was to bring about changes in the vehicles to prevent drivers from over-speeding. The devices can’t be tampered with by drivers,” a senior ministry official said.

There have been several fatal accidents in and around Kolkata involving over-speeding by buses and trucks. A few days ago, a traffic sergeant of Howrah City Police was run over and killed by a 10-wheeled trailer on Kona Expressway.

Truck operators, however, maintain that the restrictions will create delivery delays. “Such restrictions are good within city limits. However, if truck drivers are forced to drive below 80 km/hr along highways, even during the night, delivery schedules will suffer. I feel that an overall better traffic management system should be brought into place and drivers be regularly trained on matters like lane driving,” an operator said.

In 2015, West Bengal was among the top 13 states so far as road accidents were concerned.

According to government statistics, 13,208 accidents occurred in the state that year of which 6,234 were fatal. Statistics also reveal that of these accidents, 5,154 were caused by heavy commercial vehicles like buses and trucks. As many as 2,573 people were killed in these accidents.

Source: https://goo.gl/Wb9vkd

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