HC Strikes Down Centre’s Notification Raising Highway Speed Limit to 120 Kmph

The Centre on 6 April 2018 had increased the speed limit of motor vehicles to 120 km/hr on highways.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Image used for representational purposes.</p></div>

The Madras High Court on Tuesday, 14 September, set aside a notification of the central government dated 6 April 2018, that had fixed the speed limit for vehicles running on highways up to 120 kilometre/hour.

The Centre and the State were directed to issue fresh notifications with decreased speed limit by the division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran (since retired) and Justice TV Thamilselvi, news agency PTI reported.

While passing interim orders on an appeal on 3 March this year, the bench had increased the compensation amount from Rs 18.43 lakh to Rs 1.50 crore to the appellant, a dentist, who had suffered 90 percent disability due to a road accident that occurred in April 2013 in Tamil Nadu.

The bench had also directed the union government to reconsider its 2018 notification, which increased the speed limit to 120 kmph. The matter was posted in August for filing compliance report, PTI reported.

Better Engine Technology and Improved Road Infrastructure: Centre

The Centre, however, justified its action in the report saying that in view of better engine technology and improved road infrastructure, an expert committee was constituted to review the speed limits of motor vehicles.

As per the recommendations of the committee, the maximum speeds for vehicles on different roads had been revised by the ministry in the 2018 notification.

The current bench observed that though there was better engine technology and improved road infrastructure, there was no improvement in compliance of the road safety rules by the motorists.

The court then highlighted a report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, pointing out that the number of deaths taking place on roads would prove that more accidents were occurring due to speeding.

The court also questioned the government asking that if speeding was a major cause for road accidents, it is not known as to how the improvement in road infrastructure and engine technology would reduce accidents.

The bench added, “In fact, better engine technology would always be a reason for uncontrolled speed and thereby, cause more accidents,” PTI reported.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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