The Indian government is all set to revise the maximum speed limit for each category of vehicles including cars, heavy vehicles and motorcycles plying on roads across the country. The revision comes 25 years after the previous speed limits were decided and in the wake of new and developed infrastructure that offers better connectivity. The Road Transport and Highways ministry had last notified speed limits in 1989, when highway development had not kicked off and now with new and paved roads, highways and even expressways along with the increased population of vehicles, the revision was long due.

The new speed limits will be put into effect very soon. As per revision regulations, the speed limit for passenger cars with a seating capacity of 8 or less is 100 km/hr, while vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 8 seats will have to ply at a speed of 80 km/hr. For goods carriers and heavy vehicles, the speed limit has been set to 80 km/hr, while motorcycles have received the biggest boon with the speed limit increased from 50 km/hr to 80 km/hr. The revision regulations have also considered a new class of vehicles that are quadricycles and have set their speed limit to 70 km/hr.

The need to rationalise the speed limit was felt back in 2006-07 and the government drew up a committee to revise the norms. While the central government will exercise a maximum speed limit on vehicles, the new law will allow state governments and local authorities to set their own speed limit regulations for vehicles crossing through state highways and city rural roads. There is also a recommendation to define a separate speed limit for vehicles in urban areas.

Apart from allowing vehicles to have a higher top speed, the road transport ministry has also planned to enforce some serious regulations that could even cost you your license, in case of repeat offences. The latest notification by the transport minister of Gujarat has listed 19 violations which include speeding, using phone while driving, driving under the influence of drinks and drugs, parking vehicles haphazardly on the road, driving overloaded vehicles and smoking while driving among many more; which could lead to termination of the owner’s driving license.

The RTO has the power to terminate or suspend the driving licence of vehicle owners, if found guilty of violating the Motor Vehicles Act. However, since the transport department is not a law and order enforcing agency, therefore the case referred by the traffic department of the city police for violation of rules would be considered for termination of the owner’s driving license. Nonetheless, drivers will be served a notice first, before the decision to terminate or suspend the driving license will be taken. With new rules and regulations, the government is only trying to make the roads much safer and accident free, which is the need of the hour.

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