Karnataka HC Suggests State Govt to Instruct Ambulance Manufacturers to Install GPS Systems in Ambulances

Savvy Thakur

Published on: November 9, 2022 at 21:11 IST

On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court suggested that the State government instruct ambulance manufacturers in Karnataka to require them to install GPS systems in ambulances.

We would also like to suggest to the state government to give directions to manufacturers operating in Karnataka— ambulances, to fix the GPS system in ambulances as a prerequisite,” a division bench composed of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi stated.

The bench was hearing Bharat Punarutthana Trust’s PIL, which asked the Regional Transport Authority to install GPS on all current and future ambulances (governmental and non-governmental).

The Court was informed today that in March 2020, the State government issued a circular directing all regional authorities to determine whether the GPS equipment is fixed and to submit a monthly progress report to the Transport and Regional Road Safety Officers.

The bench made a remark that,

“If that is so, we would like to seek response from the government that till date how many such reports were submitted to the Commissioner, Transport and road safety Bengaluru, in response to circular dated 4-03-2020.”

It also sought to know whether the Commissioner maintains the data if such reports were indeed submitted.

“The method of storing the data, whether digital or manual, if such data are maintained. If the commissioner looked at the data or a report and found that private ambulances or government ambulances didn’t fix the GPS equipment on their vehicles in spite of the directions, what steps would be taken against such ambulances if they were owned by private owners?”

“If they are ambulances operated by the government, whether any communication is sent to the authority in charge of making these ambulances operational or functional.”

In accordance with the government communication dated March 4, 2022, the bench also ordered the government to provide details regarding whether specific circulars are issued by the competent transport authorities or whether any amendments have been made to the prescribed rules to ensure that the vehicle’s GPS system is fixed when it is registered with the transport authority.

In addition, the 2020 PIL calls for the establishment of an “Ambulance Traffic Control Room” in each district and the linking of all ambulances to the Control Room.

In light of the preceding directives, the court has now ordered the state government to submit a compliance report within three weeks and has scheduled a second hearing for December 2.

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