Speed limit on expressways may be increased, Nitin Gadkari to discuss proposal
Speed limits on expressways and national highways could be increased in near future. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is set to discuss a proposal regarding the matter during a meeting of the Transport Development Council (TDC) in Bengaluru this week. The meeting comes at a time when road safety issues, including conditions of roads and highways are under scanner after Cyrus Mistry, former Chairman of Tata Motors, was killed in a road accident on Sunday.
Currently, the maximum speed limit notified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is 100 kmph on national highways and 120 kmph on expressways for cars. Mumbai-Pune Expressway is one of the exceptions, where the speed limit is capped at 100 kmph. However, the expressway has been designed to handle light vehicles at 120 kmph speed.
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Earlier, in October last year, Gadkari had hinted at increasing the 120 kmph speed limit on expressways to 140 kmph. "My personal view is that the speed limit for vehicles on expressways should be increased to 140 km per hour," he had said.
Gadkari had said that the speed limits on national highways should be at least 100 km per hour on four-lane roads while for two-lane roads and city roads, it should be 80 km per hour and 75 km per hour respectively. However, he had also said that the parameter of speed limit for vehicles in the country is one of the bigger challenges. “There are some decisions by the Supreme Court and high courts regarding car speed, due to which we are not able to do anything," he had said.
Gadkari is also expected to raise the issue of road safety during the meeting. He is likely to ask private agencies to conduct safety audits of National Highways. He said his ministry will not compromise with international standards and practices concerning road safety. He reminded how India loses 3.2 per cent of its GDP due to road accidents. "Savings lives is the highest priority," the minister said. Besides cars, Gadkari is also considering a plan to make it mandatory for passengers on inter-city buses to wear set belts to prevent casualties during any accident.