Chennai: Tamil Nadu, the state with the highest number of accidents in India, which accounted for nearly 16,000 accidents in 2015, has not implemented the Supreme Court’s mandate of speed governors on Commercial Vehicles (CV), said a senior official of the National Road Safety Council.
A notification from the Union government in 2015 had mandated all new CVs to have speed governors that limit the speed of vehicles to 80kmph, by October 2015. Also, existing vehicles were supposed to get retrofitted with speed governors by April 2016.
“About 45 per cent of road accidents are caused by CVs. If the mandate was taken seriously, and speed governors were installed, there could be a reduction in accidents by 25 per cent,” said Dr Kamal Soi, Member - National Road Safety Council. “But the state transport department and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) here aim to make big bucks by colluding with the errant companies. The RTOs don’t even inspect vehicles for them during fitness checks.”
Karnataka and Haryana have started installation of speed governors. Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are also in the process. “In Karnataka, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in accidents,” he said. “If these states can take a step forward, why can’t Tamil Nadu?”
“Lawlessness pertaining to the fitting of speed governors is leading to unapproved vendors fitting substandard quality Speed Limiting Devices (SLDs),” he said adding that a representation was made to the Tamil Nadu government suggesting the process and precautionary measures.
In July 2015, Madras high court had asked the state and Central governments to consider mandating speed governors in non-commercial vehicles as well.
In 2015, Tamil Nadu saw 69,059 road accidents resulting in 79,746 injuries and 15,642 deaths. In 2014, there were 67,250 crashes, leading to 77,725 injuries and 15,190 deaths. In 2015, the number of fatalities recorded in Tamil Nadu due to road accidents was just behind Uttar Pradesh, where 17,666 people lost their lives.