Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari now wants his ministry to revise the maximum speed limits for vehicles and raise them by 20 kmph for different categories of highways.
The Minister also reportedly directed officials to put in place a mechanism for uniformity of speed limits on select stretches rather than effect frequent changes in notified speed limits even on short stretches, Times of India reported.
At present, the maximum speed limit notified by the Road Transport Ministry is 100 kmph on national highways for cars and 120kmph on expressways.
Gadkari has been critical of slow speed limits on multi-lane roads in the country. Speaking at a road safety virtual conference Way to Vision Zero, a collaboration between the governments of Sweden and India, last year, Gadkari said it was unfortunate when vehicles plying on multi-lane roads were penalised for breaching speed limit of a mere 40 kmph.
“I have already discussed this issue with my officials. We need to revise our speed norms considering the new roads being built, including expressways and Greenfield highways, widening of highways to four and six lanes,” Gadkari had said.
The Minister said that one of the reasons behind high accident rates in India is road engineering/ road design. He said his ministry identified and removed 1,000 such spots to improve road conditions.
The average speed of vehicles inside Indian cities normally is around 35 km/hour, as per a study titled Mobility and Congestion in Urban India. The study, conducted across 154 cities in the country, claims that the average speed is one of the slowest in the world.
A Mint report last year said a 10-km commute in Hyderabad takes 26 minutes on average. In Chennai and the national capital, it takes around 29 minutes while the same distance takes 34 minutes in Bengaluru, 37 in Mumbai and 39 minutes in Kolkata.