On Tuesday, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed his officials to explore ways to increase the national speed limit of vehicles by up to 20 km/h. This speed will vary for different roads. At a meeting with the officials, Nitin Gadkari said as the quality of the roads has been upgraded in recent times, this will allow the vehicles to move at higher speeds.
With the increase in speed limit by 20 kmph, Gadkari also mentioned putting mechanism for uniformity of speeds limits on certain stretches rather than effect frequent changes in notified speed limits even on short stretches.
The present maximum speed limit for cars, as notified by the ministry, is 100 kmph on national highways and 120kmph on expressways. The speed limits are different for two-wheeler and heavy vehicles, such as trucks. The speed limit on highways and expressways is 80kmph for bikes and 100 kmph for heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks. This has been a major problem for commuters and also because of less number of the sign with allowed speeds.
Speed is the major concern for road accidents, with the uniformity of speed limit will lower the number of accidents. Road safety experts have mentioned that the speed limits on the roads must be well defined. Adding to this, Gadkari said that last year police officials were penalizing commuters driving at more than 40kmph on multi-lane highways within city limits and calling this as ‘unfortunate’ .
Gadkari had said: “We need to revise our speed norms considering the new roads being built, including expressways and Greenfield highways, widening of highways to four and six lanes. The subject of revising the existing speed limits and increasing them by 20kmph was discussed at the meeting,” confirmed a senior ministry official who attended the meeting. “This is because the quality of highways has improved (over the past few years) and can allow vehicles to travel at a higher speed.”
After Gadkari’s direction to increase the speed limits on roads, and introduce a system of uniform speed restriction, officials in the ministry said the matter was being looked into. Meanwhile, no set specific timeline has been decided for the introduction of the revised speed limits.