Reacting to recent reports that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) was considering revoking last years’ mandate that all commercial vehicles need to have speed governors installed, a non-profit body has urged that the government stand by this law. Emphasizing that the government should not be swayed by Automobile lobbies into increasing the speed limit of vehicles. Kamal Soi, the chairman of Raahat- The Safe Community Foundation - reportedly said that such a move could lead to road terrorism.
Soi, a key member in the National Road Safety Council, said that an increase of the speed limit would not improve traffic movement as India’s traffic conditions are not homogenous, with the number of vehicles’ on the road in India exponentially increasing year on year. Soi furthered that even in developed nations across the globe with homogenous traffic have speed governors installed their vehicles. Implying that India should take a cues from them. Soi quoted a request to the Union Minister of MoRTH Nitin Gadkari such that he not get influenced by automobile lobbies as speed is the biggest killer in road accidents. Soi ended his statement saying that it was beyond his understanding why the government was overlooking the millions of lives lost and the millions that can be saved and simply pander to the needs of the transport industry. Claiming that the omission of the Rule 118 (of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989) would lead to increased loss of human lives on Indian roads.
Soi’s report contained data from the Report on Road Accidents in India 2016, published by Transport Research wing under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the country recorded at least 4,80,652 accidents in 2016, leading to 1,50,785 deaths. According to those number 17 people were killed every hour on Indian highways, with at least 54 reportable accidents happening every hour.