Stating that high speed is the main reason behind most road accidents, a non-profit body has urged the government to not get pressured by automobile lobbies into increasing speed limit of vehicles. Kamal Soi, the chairman of Raahat - The Safe Community Foundation, urged the government not to remove speed governors from vehicles as, he said, such a move could lead to "road terrorism".
Noting that India does not have homogeneous traffic, Soi, who is also a member of the National Road Safety Council, said an increase of speed limit would not improve traffic movement as the number of vehicles in the country are very high. "Developed countries have homogenous traffic due to which they can afford to increase the speed limit, but even they are adding speed governors to their vehicles.
We need to learn from them," he said. "I request Union minister Nitin Gadkari to not get influenced by automobile lobbies as speed is the biggest killer in road accidents, "Soi. He was reacting to reports that the Centre was planning to revoke the mandatory requirement of speed governors from commercial vehicles, which was imposed last year. "It is beyond any understanding as to why the government would want to overlook millions of lives lost and the millions that can be saved and simply pander to the needs of the transport industry. Striking off the amended rule 118 (of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989) will only lead to loss of precious human lives on Indian roads," he said.
According to the data cited in the report (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. The number indicates that at least 413 people died every day in 1,317 road accidents. Further, the data reveals that at least 17 deaths occurred in road accidents in 55 accidents every hour, in the given time period, Soi said.