Thiruvananthapuram: The National Road Safety Council officials have appealed to the state Motor Vehicles Department to issue guidelines to ensure that tamper-proof speed governors are installed in heavy vehicles. Even after a decade of making speed governors compulsory in the state, most buses and trucks in Kerala do not have working systems. Pointing out the alarming rate of accidents caused by heavy vehicles, NRSC member Kamal Soi said that speed governors were the need of the hour.
“Kerala has most number of commercial vehicles after Rajasthan. It’s important to make speed governors stricter and this will prevent 20 per cent of all accidents,” Mr Soi said. In 2015, the central government had directed the states to ensure that all heavy vehicles have speed governors by March 2016.
However, Kerala is not among the eight states which have enforced the rule and submitted an affidavit in this regard. As per estimates, only less than 50 per cent buses in even Kerala State Road Transport Corporation have working speed governors. A short-lived MVD campaign in 2013 had found that most private contract and stage carriers do not have proper speed governors.
Weed out low quality equipment
A handful of states have shortlisted selected manufacturers and fitting centres to weed out low quality speed governors that are preferred in Kerala due to cost factors. “The government need to shortlist specific companies that meet quality requirements. If the speed governors malfunction during the first 15 years it should be the responsibility of the companies to replace them,” Mr Soi said.
“Then they need to be publicise the list of authorised centres to fit them. Further annual checking during fitness certificate renewal must be done religiously,” he added.
As per central government norms, the speed of transport and good vehicles should be limited to 80 kilometres. Tipper lorries, tankers, school buses and vehicles carrying hazardous goods should be limited to around 60 km. State governments are free to make the norms even stricter. Most new buses now come with either company-fitted or dealer-fitted speed governors.