In a decision taken on Wednesday, the Centre has set the maximum speed limit for cars on urban roads at 70 kilometres per hour (kmph) while cargo carriers and two-wheelers can drive at up to 60 kmph and 50 kmph speeds, respectively.
At present, the speed limits set by local authorities range around 40-50 kmph. The growing number of ring roads and major arterial stretches in urban areas made the ministry set a higher speed limit, the Times of India reported.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari cleared the proposal for capping the speed limit for all types of vehicles on four categories of roads.
However, the state or local authorities can specify reduced speed limits for each category.
A committee headed by joint secretary (transport) Abhay Damle had recommended higher speed limits on expressways and for buses on highways.
Before the decision, the road transport ministry used to set the national
maximum speed limit for each category, leaving areas with respect to limits on different types of roads as state authorities had not specified a maximum speed limit.
According to the latest decision, no action would be taken against drivers if the vehicle’s speed is within 5 per cent of the maximum speed limit.
The decision to put a higher cap on speed comes at a time when there is a growing demand across the globe to “slow down” vehicles to reduce road fatalities.
In 2016, speeding, the biggest reason of road deaths in India, claimed 74,000 lives.