The speed limit on Indian highways will soon be raised from 80 Kmph on national highways, to 100 Kph for cars. On expressways, this limit would be further raised to 120 Kmph. For two wheelers, national highways will have a speed limit of 80 Kmph, up from 60 Kmph.
The speed limit for commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses will be 80 Kmph on national highways, and 90 Kmph on expressways. Union minister for road transport and highways (MORTH), Nitin Gadkari, is said to have signed off on the higher speed limit, and a notification on the raised speed limits will be put out soon.
State transport authorities will continue to have a say on fixing speed limits inside cities, and other local areas, where the limits are likely to be much lower than those on national highways and expressways. Mr. Gadkari is also said to be in favour of ECU controlled speed limit rather than fitting external speed limiter devices, which are prone to tampering. In fact, taxi variants of cars like the Dzire, Innova Crysta and Xcent, manufactured by leading car markets such as Maruti, Hyundai and Toyota come with ECU-based speed limiters.
These ECU-based speed limiters cut off fuel to the engine if the current speed limit of 80 Kph is breached by the car. As the new speed limit regulations come into force, car makers may increase the speed limit on new vehicles and a software update applied to existing vehicles’ ECUs may help increase their speed limits as well.
Similar things are likely to be done by commercial vehicle makers such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra and Bharat Benz. Having speed limiters on commercial vehicles is expected to reduce road accidents caused due to speeding. Lower speeds also means lower maintenance although highway overtaking could prove tricky in some cases.