GPS, panic button must in public service vehicles from April 1

Last Updated 27 March 2018, 20:04 IST

The transport department will enforce the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways' (MoRTH) notification that made global positioning system (GPS) and panic button mandatory in all the public service vehicles.

Transport commissioner B Dayananda has instructed all the regional transport officers to implement the rule from April 1, the deadline stipulated by the MoRTH in its notification issued on March 2.

The rule applies to taxis, buses and school buses.

"The Centre's rule is aimed at enhancing the safety of the passengers. The RTO officials will start field verifications to inspect vehicles. Action will be taken against those who do not comply with the rule," he said.

The officials felt that the GPS inbuilt in smartphones was unscientific.

The components of the security system have been cleared in a report by the Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System Limited, the said.

Delay likely

However, some of the taxi drivers and bus owners are not aware of the rule. Those who know it said they welcome the measure but questioned the efficacy of the devices without a support system.

"Who will monitor or control the panic button? Does it alert the transport officials or police? We need a 24/7 support system to ensure that the devices are more than cosmetic appliances," said Aravind Appaji, Managing Committee Member of All India Motor Congress.

Appaji said the new rule has the best measure to ensure the safety of women. But fails to back it up with a system.

"Owners of many vehicles were recently forced to install speed governors. Now, they have to invest between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 for the security system. The transport companies can bear such cost but individual owners will suffer," he said.

Radhakrishna Holla, president of Bengaluru Tourist Taxi Owners Association, said retrofitting of such devices may take time.

"Many transporters do not know about the rule. There is no company which manufactures a security system integrating all the devices. Some owners have already installed GPS to their vehicles, they can't spend on another device," he said.

(Published 27 March 2018, 18:24 IST)

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