Taking a U-turn, the central government will be abolishing the mandatory requirement of speed governors for commercial vehicles, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said. The minister for Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) was speaking at the 58th SIAM Annual convention today. Speed governors were first mandated for all commercial vehicles in May last year, following an order from the Karnataka High Court. The move, however, was met with criticism from the transport lobby, despite having been instated for better road safety.
That said, Gadkari did not announce a timeline as to when the mandate will be abolished. Meanwhile, commercial vehicles will have to continue using the device that limits the top speed of the vehicle. The change will also require the Ministry to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules abolishing speed governors entirely.
At present, the speed governor restricts the top speed on buses, and taxis to the speed of 80 kmph, while trucks have the speed restricted to 60 kmph. Three-wheelers and school buses have to adhere to a speed limit of 40 kmph. In addition, Gadkari also spoke about making advanced driver assistance systems compulsory by 2022 in the country. The government has already made dual front airbags, ABS and reverse parking sensors mandatory for vehicles to be produced from 2019. The new vehicles will also come with seatbelt reminder and speed reminder with the latter beeping at 80 kmph and later when one crosses 120 kmph.
Gadkari also announced that electric vehicles, cars with ethanol, methanol, bio-fuel and even CNG will be exempted from all permits required for commercial vehicles, making it easier for operators to get into the market help build city transport. The minister stated he wants 15 per cent of the commercial fleet to be electric vehicles in the next five years.