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Madras HC quashes Centre Notification on Speed Limits on Highways

2 min read

Greeva Garg –

Published on: September 15, 2021 at 10:25 IST

The Madras High Court quashed a Central Government’s notification issued on April 6, 2018, ordaining speed limits on highways and expressways.

The notification by the Centre allowed the increase in the speed limit of vehicles on highways and expressways from 100 kilometres per hour (kmph) to 120 kmph.  

Flagging over speeding, the Division Bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran (since retired) and Justice TV Thamilselvi directed the Centre and the State to issue fresh notifications ordering a decrease in speed limits to 80kmph.

The Court refused to accept the justification of the Centre for its action in increasing the speed limit that, “Keeping in view the better engine technology and improved road infrastructure, an expert committee was constituted to review the speed limits of motor vehicles and as per its recommendations, the maximum speeds for vehicles on different roads had been revised by the Ministry in the April 6 2018 notification.”

However, the 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 made the observation while hearing an appeal filed by a dentist who had suffered 90% of body disability due to a road accident that occurred in April 2013 in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu.

The Court passed the interim order in the appeal, increasing the compensation amount earlier granted by the lower Court, from Rs. 18.43 lakh to Rs. 1.50 crore.

The High Court relied on the report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which proves the number of accidents and deaths taking place on roads was due to speeding.

The Bench further stated the fact that better engine technology would always be a reason for uncontrolled speed and thereby cause more accidents.

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