The Speed Governor

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Karnataka is the first state in India to come up with the speed governor rule. The move was followed by a directive from the Karnataka High Court in a case of person losing his son in a road accident in 1996.

The State Transport Department's enforce installation of speed governors on all transport vehicles from January 1, 2008 has been heavily criticized. The goods vehicle operators have opposed the rule as it should be implemented uniformly across India and State-owned transport corporations have welcomed the move.

Members of Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners' and Agents' Associations decided to approach the Governor of Karnataka with the plea of uniform enforcement. "If the government does not defer the enforcement, we will be forced to launch a State-wide strike taking three lakh goods carriers off the roads," federation president G.R. Shanmugappa told a national daily.

Indian arm of Toyota Corp., Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. had to temporarily halt its production near its Bangalore plant due to a strike by taxi owners and truck operators.

Over 350,000 trucks, buses and private cabs went off roads to protest the increased costs speed governors. The rule would mean to restrict the speed of commercial vehicles to 60 kmph on high ways. The speed governors reduce the flow of fuel to the engine if the speed is exceeded.

However, speed governors are not tamper-proof and once the vehicle gets registered, the owner/ driver can always tamper with the gadget. If the 25 lakh commercial vehicles in Karnataka need to install speed governors, it would cost around Rs. 15,000.