Bhubaneswar, Sep 22 : To enhance security of women and children while travelling in public transport vehicles, the Odisha government has made installation of vehicle location tracking (VLT) devices with panic button mandatory for all new commercial vehicles to be registered on or after January 1, 2023.
As per a notification issued by the state transport department, the specified vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2023 will have to comply with the requirement at the time of registration. Similarly, such a category of vehicles registered on or before December 31, 2022, will have to comply with the requirement by March, 2023.
The transport commissioner will issue detailed guidelines and process for fitment of VLT device and panic button, an official said.
All commercial vehicles (with yellow registration number plates) including passenger buses, mini-buses, school buses and cabs/taxis will compulsorily be equipped with the VLT gadgets for the safety of women and children travellers, said joint commissioner transport (road safety), Sanjay Kumar Biswal.
Women in distress can press the emergency buttons near their seats.
As soon as the panic button is pressed, it will send an emergency signal to the command and control centre (CCC), post which the vehicle will be tracked and necessary assistance will be provided, he said, adding, the command centre would be set up in Bhubaneswar soon.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways earlier had mandated VLT devices and emergency buttons be fitted in all public service vehicles with effect from April 1, 2018. Later, the Centre has empowered the states to do so through notifications.