Speed Limit Reversal in Punjab, India

According to a report issued by the Office of the Director General of the police in Punjab State, India: “Over speeding is the leading cause of deaths in Punjab [India].” The report stated that out of 4725 total deaths in 2018, 2540 people died in road crashes due to over-speeding, and in 2017, 2363 out 4459 deaths were attributable to over-speeding.”

In July 2018, the Government of Punjab increased the speed limits for all road and vehicle categories in the state. Approximately 2.8% of India’s population live in Punjab, yet in the last five years, it accounts for between 3.3 – 3.5% of road crash deaths across India. It has the second highest severity of crash rate among all the Indian states.

Harpreet Singh, Founder President of Avoid Accident, based in the city of Mohali, in Punjab said “the revised high speed limits 70km/h in municipal area roads are a very big challenge in making city roads and road users safer.”

Avoid Accident started a push to revise the speed limits again, meeting with top decision makers, using the media to raise public awareness of the danger of these higher speed limits and requesting that the national road safety body in India, the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, issue time-bound instructions to revise the speed limits in Punjab. Finally, on 1 May 2020, the state government have reduced the speed limits again as below:

This is great news and a fantastic victory for Avoid Accident. Now, the hard work begins — although the law is in force, signboards showing the new speed limits must be in place on every road that the police can check. There is low awareness among the public that the speed limits have changed. Avoid Accident is working with the municipalities, police, public works department and transport department in the state to get all signboards.