The Union Cabinet Minister, Nitin Gadkari, suggested the National Highway Speed Limit to be increased by 20 kmph. The current speed limit for cars on national highways is 100 kmph. This limit increases to 120 kmph if you are driving on the expressways. However, the state police and other agencies have the jurisdiction to set these limits according to their areas. This has caused massive confusion as different stretches of the same highway have different speed limits. Nitin Gadkari also calls for uniformity in the application of these speed limits across the board. Because these speed limits change regularly at various parts of the same state, the need for proper signs is also necessary.
Reasons for Increasing The National Highway Speed Limit
While road safety is an important factor in the mobility of any country, there must be a balance between safety and efficiency. The roads are also designed to carry raw materials to factories and the finished product to the markets. The supply chain is a critical aspect of the development of any economy. The more efficient your roadways are, the better economical benefits you can reap. Some time ago, a similar kind of regulation was proposed for the freight railways as well. The reason, again, was to enhance the efficiency of the supply chain and reduce the delivery time.
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However, there have been concerns from experts mentioning the impact that it could have on road safety. Unfortunately, India suffers from a lot of accidents on the road. Too many people lose their lives every year. The general driving sense is not very prevalent among Indian drivers and such a step could be a double-edged sword. However, the safety of the passengers and pedestrians should prevail over the transport efficiency any day of the week.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is akin to the safety aspect on Indian roads. In a bid to promote it, it has also brought in a ton of safety requirements that the carmakers need to adhere to. This includes the recent requirement of a new car to have 2 airbags, ABS, reverse parking sensors, seatbelt reminder and high-speed alert. These factors, when made compulsory, do have a positive impact on the passengers and pedestrians alike.