The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) is chalking out plans to tighten its enforcement drive after instances of owners installing proper speed governors when buses are brought for the annual fitness test and later tampering with it have come to light.
A bus owner and a mechanic who tamper with a speed governor will be pulled up, according to MVD officials.
“Once a decision is taken on the new enforcement initiative, even Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions can be invoked against the errant duo,” said Ernakulam RTO, B.J. Antony.
On Sunday, MVD personnel sealed speed governors in 102 private buses in the district. With this, the number of private buses with sealed governors has risen to 452. The fitness certificate of a bus that was plying without the speed-limiting device was cancelled.
The owner will have to pay a fine of Rs.5,000 and install a speed governor, failing which the vehicle’s permit will be suspended.
Sources said many dealers were unable to meet the demand for new speed governors. “Moreover, the device will function only if the speedometer is in working condition.
The enforcement drive to ensure that buses adhered to the speed limit of 60 km per hour has led to a shortage of speedometers too,” an official said.
Buses fitted with cheap governors costing around Rs.7,000 are finding the going tough since firms which manufactured them have wound up. In these buses, the fuel supply gets cut off when the speed limit is exceeded. Cable-type governors linked to the accelerator cost around Rs.11,000 and last longer.
Bus owners who opted for cheap ones are now scouting for the superior quality ones, only to find that they are in short supply.
Mr. Antony said owners of buses who installed good quality devices had reported savings up to 10 litres of diesel each day. This was because drivers could not exceed the speed limit.