Nearly 1,000 cases detected in the past one month
Cracking the whip on vehicles speeding along the highway, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has issued charge memos to 200-odd inter-State private buses and is gearing up to slap them with penalties including fine and permit suspension.
With round-the-clock footage from 64 surveillance cameras on Mannuthy-Cherthala stretch on the national highway, the MVD has been able to zero in on speed limit violations and inter-State private buses have emerged one of the biggest offenders.
“The MVD is planning to move cases against private inter-State travel agencies to which the buses belong in the Regional Transport Authority,” Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) N.K. Raveendranath told The Hindu. Permits of State-registered buses will be suspended whereas buses involved in repeated offences and registered in other States will be prevented from operating in the State.
While charge memos against vehicles registered in the State have already been issued, efforts are on to locate the regional office and the person in charge of buses registered in other States to hand over the memos.
Close to 1,000 cases of speed violations have been detected in the past one month. The control room was shifted to a bigger space adjoining the RTO office in Kakkanad with more staff members. Majority of the inter-State private buses breach the speed limit of 65 km per hour especially between midnight and 3 a.m. Some of them were found to have touched the 150 km-per-hour mark during the period.
“Buses of one particular travel agency were found involved in speed violations in not less than 200 instances. The same buses were found committing the offence close to 25-30 times,” said Motor Vehicle Inspector N. Vinodkumar. For each offence of speed violation committed by a bus registered outside the State, Rs. 400 is charged.
In the case of State-registered buses, an additional charge for operating without speed governors is charged and the violator is made to cough up Rs. 5,400 for each instance of violation.
Based on the statement of the owner, the licence of the driver is suspended if he is found to have repeated the offence.
At present, the surveillance cameras have been configured at a speed limit of 90 km per hour, which is the permissible speed for cars on a four-lane road.
Therefore, only vehicles breaching that limit are captured by the cameras whereas heavy vehicles breaching their permissible speed limit of 65 km per hour go unchecked.
The MVD is now planning to reconfigure the speed limit to 65 km per hour in cameras.