Questions raised over implementation of speed governor rule

Questions raised over implementation of speed governor rule

The enforcement of mandatory installation of speed governors for vehicles that were earlier exempted from the rule has raked up a host of questions, including the "exorbitant price" for the device and the enforcement of the rule itself.

Various associations of taxi operators and owners have decided to lay siege to the Transport Commissioner's office on Tuesday (October 7) to protest against the pricing.

"A speed governor in Karnataka costs Rs 15,000 whereas devices in other states can be obtained at Rs 2,500. Why did the government go for tender instead of allowing devices approved by ARi (Automotive Robotics inc)," asked Radhakrishna Holla, president of Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners' Association.

The Transport department has a huge task of ensuring about 4 lakh commercial vehicles have the speed limiting devices installed. "It will not happen anytime soon. We have to wait till the vehicle is brought for a fitness certificate (FC). Besides the challenge of ensuring supply of lakhs of devices, there is also the question of manpower and time needed in installing the devices," a senior official in the department said.

The issue has come to the fore after the Transport department on September 26 issued a notification revoking exemption given to M1 category vehicles (below 3,500 kg weight) from installing the governors that limit the speed to 80 kmph.

Holla, however, questioned the preparedness of the department. "What happens when a speed governor starts malfunctioning? We do not have authorised repair shops. After paying exorbitant price for the device, vehicle owners will have to suffer due to lack of preparedness," he said.

He said the government should have argued in the court, which quashed the exemption, that commercial vehicles are responsible for only a fraction of total road accidents. "Private vehicles, which, contribute most of the accidents will run the same way," he noted.

Installation a sham

Rakesh, who owns a commercial vehicle, told DH that he bought the device about six months ago but the vendor did not install it. "I asked the vendor to fit the speed governor. He gave me a certificate and told me that I will get the FC by showing it to the vehicle inspector and there was no need to instal the device," he said.

An RTO official, however, said vehicle inspectors have to physically verify the device and take down its serial number to generate an FC.

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