In a set of 12 queries raised by the bench, the first of which was for a direction to the central government to reconsider its 2018 notification, increasing the speed limit to 120 kmph.
The Madras High Court has struck down a notification of the central government, fixing 120 kmph as the speed limit for vehicles running on highways. A division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran (since retired) and Justice TV Thamilselvi, which turned down the notification dated April 6, 2018, had also directed the Centre and the State to issue fresh notifications with reduced speed limit. In March this year, the bench passed an interim order on an appeal where it compensation amount from ₹ 18.43 lakh to ₹ 1.50 crore to the appellant — a dentist, who had suffered 90 per cent disability due to a road accident that occurred in April 2013 in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
In a set of 12 queries raised by the bench, the first of which was for a direction to the central government to reconsider its 2018 notification, increasing the speed limit to 120 kmph. In its report, the Centre justified its action in increasing the speed limit saying that keeping in view the better engine technology and improved road infrastructure, an expert committee was constituted to review the speed limits of motor vehicles. As per its recommendations, the maximum speeds for vehicles on different roads had been revised by the Ministry in the April 6 2018 notification.
But the present bench observed that though there was a better engine technology and improved road infrastructure, there was no improvement in compliance of the road safety rules by the motorists. According to the report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the number of deaths taking place on roads would prove that more accidents were occurring due to speeding. In its statement the bench said that when speeding was a major cause for road accidents, it is not known as to how the improvement in road infrastructure and engine technology would reduce accidents. In fact, better engine technology would always be a reason for uncontrolled speed and thereby, cause more accidents.