Odisha plans to introduce Uniform Speed Limit on Highways

The Odisha government is planning to introduce a uniform speed limit for vehicles on state highways. Presently, each district has a different speed limit on the stretches under their jurisdiction.

“We have proposed to our lead agency, which is a multi-sectoral organisation with officers from different departments, to bring about a uniform speed limit on highways. The agency will examine the pros and cons of the proposal. Motorists, mostly from other states are often getting confused over the differing speed limits in different districts”, informed Sanjeeb Panda, Commissioner of state transport, to the TOI.

Road safety experts suggest bringing uniformity as per the nature of the road and the density of traffic. For example, there can be a particular speed limit on highways, passing through towns/cities and near schools, and a different speed limit on vacant stretches or outskirts of towns/cities.

As per a notification issued by the ministry of road transport and highways, the speed limits of two-wheelers should be 80 km/h on a four-lane road and 60 km/h on roads within municipal limits. Vehicles carrying maximum of eight passengers can drive at a speed of 120 km/h on an expressway, 100 km/h on a four-lane road, and 70 km/h on roads within municipal limits. Meanwhile, mini-buses and buses should stick to the speed limit of 100 km/h on an expressway, 90 km/h on a four-lane road, and 60 km/h in municipal areas.

The latest statistics of the state transport department cites a total of 5333 deaths by road accidents in the state in 2019, out of which nearly 69% died due to over-speeding. Under section 183 of the amended Motor Vehicles Act, light and heavy vehicles will be fined Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000, respectively for driving in excess speed.

“We have 37 interceptor vehicles equipped with speed detection radars to penalize those, violating the speed limits. Driving licences of the offenders are being suspended for three months. Signage boards, clearly mentioning the speed limit on roads, have been installed”, said a transport official.

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