Vehicle location tracking devices and panic buttons made mandatory for public service vehicles

09:53 AM Jun 29, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Mangaluru: The government has issued an order mandating the installation of Vehicle Location Tracking (VLT) devices and panic buttons in public service vehicles, such as buses and cabs, for safety purposes. The installation must be completed by September 10.


However, vehicle owners in the coastal region have expressed strong opposition to this mandate. They argue that the requirement to install VLT devices amidst rising petrol and diesel prices is adding to their financial burden.

The government remains firm in its stance, stating that the installation of VLT devices is essential for passenger safety.

According to the regulation, the deadline for installing Vehicle Location Tracking devices and emergency panic buttons is September 10. The central government has allocated Rs. 7,500 for the installation of panic buttons, but in the state, the cost for installing a panic button with GPS ranges from Rs. 9,500 to Rs. 11,000.

Alert System


The panic button in the vehicle can be pressed if passengers face any danger, health issues, or sexual harassment during travel. Pressing the button will immediately alert the nearest police station through the command center, providing complete vehicle details and location. This measure was made mandatory following the Nirbhaya case in Delhi.

No Fitness Certificate (FC)

For the safety of women and children, the installation of Vehicle Location Tracking devices and panic buttons is mandatory for old vehicles. The transport department has warned that vehicles without these installations will not be issued an FC. Vehicles must obtain an FC every two years for the first eight years and annually thereafter.

Applicable Vehicles

This mandate applies to public buses, school buses, travelers, rental cars, and goods vehicles. Vehicles with yellow number plates used for public transportation must have panic buttons installed.

“The government is using this mandate to generate revenue. The installation must be done only through government-approved agencies, which charge exorbitant fees. Even though cheaper options are available elsewhere, they are not allowed. For those working to make a living, this is an added financial burden. We are willing to comply if the government provides free or subsidized installation through the department, but it is not feasible for us to spend thousands of rupees for this,” said Anand K., President of Dakshina Kannada District Taximen and Maxicab Association.

“Everyone must comply with the government order. The government has implemented this for public safety. Twelve agencies have been designated for the installation of panic buttons, and it must be done through them. Failure to comply will result in non-renewal of FC. New vehicles are being equipped with these devices from the start,” said Sridhar Mallad, RTO Mangaluru.

Translated from a Kannada article by Santosh Monteiro


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