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Madras HC: Install Speed Governors to control overspeeding [Read Order]

Madras HC: Install Speed Governors to control overspeeding [Read Order]

Meera Emmanuel

In an order passed by Justice N Kirubakaran, the Madras High Court recently recommended that speed governors be installed in motor vehicles so as to prevent speeding beyond legal limits.

The case before the Court pertained to appeals filed by the State Transport Corporation against awards made to claimants/respondents who suffered injuries and losses due to a collision between two allegedly over-speeding buses.

Referring to the current speed limits prescribed for various classes of vehicles, the Court wondered how Indian manufacturers were allowed to fit high speed engines allowing the vehicle to cross such limits. In this context, it was observed,

If the automobile manufacturers are prohibited from manufacturing such vehicles with high speed engines, the question of limiting the speed would not arise and even if the driver intends to drive the vehicle with great speed, it will not be possible. Hence, the speeding of vehicles needs to be controlled at the threshold itself viz., manufacturing stage.

It was also noted that vehicles capable of crossing the said statutory limits are often imported from abroad. In relation to this observation, a reply was sought from the Central Government regarding the basis on which such high speed vehicles are allowed to be imported to India, especially when they endanger the lives of citizens.

The Court also wondered whether it would be possible to prohibit the import of such vehicles. Similar observations were also made in regard to import of vehicles that are declared unfit and prohibited from plying in foreign countries.

Thus, the Court suggested that such imported vehicles with high speed engines also be fitted with speed controlling/arresting devices during registration. The respondent-state was directed to reply on this aspect.

Justice Kirubakaran also reiterated associated queries that were required to be answered by the respondent-state at the next hearing. The queries essentially pertain to current statistics of fixing speed governors in transport vehicles, compliance of the law governing the same and information related to accidents arising from over-speeding.

The next hearing is posted for August 22, 2017.

Another PIL seeking the installation of speed governors in public transport vehicles is currently pending before the Supreme Court as well. Despite having been filed as early as 2015, the matter is yet to be heard owing to recusal of two judges at the Apex court.