Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammad on Monday said the motor vehicle department would continue to act tough on those who drive beyond the prescribed speed limits.
“As per the international standards, 100 kmph speed can be allowed on the Ernakulam-Mannuthy stretch of National Highway 47. But the department is not permitting higher speed on the stretch because of the frequent interruptions from vehicles from smaller roads attached to the highway. Vehicles from the side roads can interrupt the traffic flow at any time, anywhere without warning and accidents can happen,” said Mr. Muhammad at a safe driving related book release function in the city. “Same kind of interruptions are happening in other well maintained roads and that is why the department is not acting against overspeeding,” he said.
It was Justice K Narayana Kurup (Rtd), who brought the attention of the minister to the strict action by motor vehicles department against speeding vehicles on the national highway. Mr Kurup said that high quality highways elsewhere allow a speed of 220 kmph. He said even the Salem-Bangalore highway allows speed driving and denying such a right on good highways in the State must be debated. Mr Aryadan complimented Transport Commissioner Rishiraj Singh for reducing the number of highway accidents by strictly implementing the laws. It was the vigilance and commitment of the Commissioner that scaled down the number of accidents, he said.
Mr. Aryadan said a drivers’ training centre to impart training in scientific driving would be opened by the Motor Vehicle Department at Edappal in Malappuram shortly. In his speech, Mr. Kurup urged the Minister to immediately appoint a water transport commissioner for the State, keeping in view the recurring incidents of boat accidents. Mr. Kurup, who headed the commission that looked into the 2002 Kumarakom boat tragedy, said most of his recommendations were not implemented and the State witnessed four more similar tragedies later.
Mr. Kurup also wanted steps by the government to fit reflectors on heavy vehicles to prevent smaller vehicles hitting them by accident. He also suggested a DRDO model research centre in the State on road safety.