SC sets up 3-member panel for road safety

  • Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2014 23:42 IST

As over 1.30 lakh people die in road traffic accidents every year in India, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set up a three-member panel to monitor implementation of road safety measures, including emergency medical help to accident victims.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam asked the government to extend better medical facilities made available on an experimental basis on national highways to more stretches of national highways and roads under state governments.

The panel to be headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan (who is to retire on May 14, 2014) will have former secretary, ministry of surface transport, S Sundar and former Head of Department of Traffic Engineering and Safety Nishi Mittal bas members.

The court directed all state governments and various central ministries involved in various road safety issues to submit their first report to the committee in three months indicating the state of implementation of all laws pertaining to licensing, certification of fitness of vehicles, passenger/weight carrying capacity, use of road safety devices, adherence to road user norms add deployment of adequate manpower for enforcement of existing provisions of law.

Making it clear that it intended to monitor the implementation of road safety measures, the bench made all states parties to the case.

The panel will submit its first report to the court three months after receiving inputs from various states and the Centre, which are supposed to indicate their views on the necessity of further change in the law, if any.

The court also asked the committee to undertake a detailed scrutiny of the reports received from states and the Centre and point out deficiencies on the part of various stakeholders. The court will further take up the matter after six months.

Fact check
* India has over 46.89 lakh km road network, which is the second largest road network in the world after the US road network.
* One serious road accident occurs every minute in India.
* One person dies in a road traffic accident every four minutes.
* 1.30 lakh people died in road accidents in India in 2010.
* 5 lakh people received serious injuries in road accidents in 2010.
* 20% of those killed are under the age of 15.
* There are 35 accidents per 1000 vehicles.
* Drivers involved in road crashes are in the age group of 20-40 years.
* Two-wheelers and cars contribute to 50% of total accidents.
* Road crashes cost one to three per cent of the country's GDP.
* More than 50% of accidents are caused by drivers' faults.
* On March 15, 2010 Centre approved the National Road Safety Policy. It aims at promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure, including application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws.
* National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill 2010, which is pending in Parliament, envisages creation of National Road Safety Traffic Management Board to oversee road safety and traffic management in India.
* On April 22, 2014 SC sets up a panel to oversee implementation of road safety measures.

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