From April 1, GPS And Panic Buttons Compulsory On All Public Transport Vehicles

| January 18 , 2018 , 09:08 IST

In a bid to improve safety while travelling in public transport, from April 1, all taxis, buses and public transport vehicles excluding three-wheelers and e-rickshaws will be required to install location tracking devises or GPS (Global Positioning System) and an alert button.

Although the notice to install GPS and alert buttons was issued earlier, the road transport ministry reiterated the deadline amidst reports that most states had not taken action to install the compulsory safety buttons.

"From 1st April, 2018, passenger transport vehicles including taxis and buses are to be mandatorily equipped with GPS devices," the ministry tweeted on Wednesday.

A senior official added that there would be no extension to the deadline for installing the passenger safety measures in public transport vehicles. The devices can installed by the manufacturers, dealers or the operators.

"Three-wheelers have been kept out of these mandatory installation of GPS and alert button since they are open. Passengers are more vulnerable in vehicles with closed structure," the official said regarding the exemption of three-wheelers.

Initially, the ministry had proposed mandatory installation of CCTV cameras in buses with more than 23 seats keeping in mind security concerns, but the proposal was dropped due to privacy issues.

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According to sources, the state transport departments are responsible for putting in place a system to track public transport vehicles. So, when any passenger presses the alert button, the transport department and the police control rooms will be alerted to take quick action.

Kalpana Viswanath co-founder of safety app 'Safetipin' said that the focus should be on implementation.

"Doing things in piecemeal can't be the solution. Just installing GPS and panic button will not work unless someone is tracking them. There have been many good ideas; now the focus should be on implementing them in the next one year," said Kalpana.