India has one of the highest accidents in the world. Every day hundreds of accidents are reported from all across the country and many of them turn fatal too. After an accident that involved a rashly driven bus, Madras High Court has issued various suggestions to the government including calibrating the CBU vehicles to ensure that they do not exceed the speed limit.
N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose, part of the Bench impleaded the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and Director-General of Police, State of Tamil Nadu before issuing the instructions. The high court bench has asked the government to reconsider the decision to increase the speed limit in April 2018. It has suggested that the government should reduce the speed limit.
Imported or Completely Built Units of vehicles that come with high powered engines should be calibrated to ensure that these vehicles do not exceed the speed limit. The Bench has also suggested that the government should make it mandatory to fit all the vehicles with speed governors including two-wheelers. The Bench has cited Rule 118 of the Motor Vehicle Act for this and has asked the speed governors to be installed at the manufacturing stage itself.
The government and authorities should procure modern gadgets like speed gun, speed indicator display and drones should be used to find any speed vehicle to punish the driver. The Bench has also suggested that any person seeking a driving license should be taken to the hospitals where the accident victims get treated. This will help the driving license seekers to see the consequences of violations of road rules and understand why speeding is dangerous through first-hand information. The high court has asked the government to lay more speed breakers in line with the safety measures.
CBU vehicles do not get speed alerts
CBU vehicles that are not manufactured in India do not get the speed alerts that the government has made mandatory in the Indian vehicles. All the vehicles sold in India get a speed alert system that produces warning alerts at 80 km/h, 100 km/h and continuous warnings at 120 km/h. However, vehicles that are imported to the country do not get this feature.
We are not sure if the Bench has asked the government to install these speed alert system in the CBU vehicles or limit the engine and the car to go beyond a certain speed. Even made-in-India vehicles with speed warning systems can attain very high speeds on the roads. In fact, the highest speed limit on the Indian Expressways is 120 km/h.
The Bench has also directed the government that special courts should be constituted to tackle the traffic offences and accident claim cases so that the claim arising out of the accident can be dealt with at the same court comprehensively. Other directions include roping celebrities to spread the message of road discipline through various media.
The case that the Bench was hearing that triggered these decisions also came to an end. The High Court enhanced the compensation payable to the victim and her family from Rs 18,43,908 to Rs 1 crore 50 lakh. The claimant was driving a two-wheeler when a speeding bus collided. The High Court has posted the matter on August 2nd for the authorities and the government to report to the compliance made by them in accordance with the directions of the court.