All Mumbai cabs, including Ola & Uber, told to install speed governors limiting top speed to 80 kmph
In a bid to curb accidents on city roads, all cabs plying within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been asked to install speed governors, which will restrict their maximum speed to 80 kmph.
The rule applies to kaali peelis, radio taxis and cabs affiliated with app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber. In addition, small tempos and pick up vans weighing under 3.5 tonnes will also have to install the speed governors.
The move is aimed at reducing the number of accidents, a majority of which are caused due to speeding. According to one estimate, almost 42 percent of all accidents in the state involved a speeding commercial vehicle.
Incidentally, instances of speeding have also increased in Mumbai in the recent past due to the opening of new highways like the Eastern Freeway and the gradual replacement of older taxis with newer models capable of cruising well beyond 80 kmph.
The Maharashtra transport commissioner’s office even issued a circular to RTOs on Thursday, ordering them to not give clearance to any taxi undergoing a fitness test unless it had the speed governor installed.
As a result, around 300 cab drivers who had gone to the RTO yesterday for renewing their fitness certificate returned empty handed.
While cab drivers are not necessarily against adhering to speed limits, they are opposed to spending Rs 10,000 on installing the units. Many of them therefore took up the issue with their unions, who have threatened to launch an agitation if the rule not amended.
A L Quadros, the leader of Mumbai’s biggest taxi union – Mumbai Taximen’s Union, has even threatened an indefinite strike from Saturday if the state transport commissioner’s office fails to revoke the rule with immediate effect.
Back in 2015, the transport ministry had exempted taxis from installing speed governors. However, a few months later, the Karnataka High Court held the exemption as ‘illegal’.
Following the HC ruling, the Centre issued a new notification last week making speed governors mandatory in commercial vehicles. The state transport department’s order is based on the Centre’s notification.