In a welcome news for motorists, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has increased the speed-limit on Indian expressways to 120 kmph. A notification to that effect was issued earlier this month.
Overall, the maximum speed limit on expressways and highways has been increased by 20 kmph for four-wheelers. The limits were increased by amending the Motor Vehicles Act.
According to the new limits, motorists can legally drive M1 category vehicles (four-wheelers which seat 8 or fewer passengers) at a speed of 120 kmph on expressways and 100 kmph on national highways.
As a result, motorists can now drive at speeds of up to 120 kmph on roads like the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Additionally, M2 and M3 category vehicles that include commercial & passenger cargo vehicles (like taxis) can travel at speeds of 100 kmph on expressways and 90 kmph on national highways, an increase of 20 and 10 kmph respectively over the previous limits.
In the city, the maximum speed limit for personal cars and taxis has been set to 70 kmph.
The speed limit for motorcycles and two-wheelers has also been revised to 80 kmph on expressways and highways, where they are allowed entry. As for the city, two-wheelers can travel at speeds of up to 60 kmph, an increase of 20 kmph over the previous limit.
The notification also mentions that no action will be taken under section 183 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if the detected speed is within 5 percent of the maximum speed limit.
The limits, however, do not apply to entire expressways or highways – especially sections with major bends. Additionally, the limits enforced by the state government on roads and highways passing through small towns or villages have been kept unchanged.
While India’s track record for road safety is far from ideal, the increase in speed limit comes amid the slowly but consistently improving infrastructure and the advent of better cars on the road.