India can avoid becoming the accident capital of the world: Supreme Court
India can avoid the tag of being the “accident capital of the world”, was how the Supreme Court reacted to the figures of vehicular deaths over the past several years.india Updated: Dec 18, 2016 10:25 IST
The year 2014 alone witnessed 2.37 lakh road accidents on national and state highways across the country, in which 85,462 people died and 2.59 lakh were injured.
These were the statistics submitted to the Supreme Court, which noted that according to the 2009 data, India had reported the highest number of road accident fatalities in the world which indicated that a road accident occurred every four minutes.
India can avoid the tag of being the “accident capital of the world”, was how the apex court reacted to the figures of vehicular deaths over the past several years while stressing on the need for “proper enforcement” of law and prevention of drunken driving.
The Supreme Court said proper enforcement of law was needed for a nation like India, which is on the cusp of economic development, to protect precious human lives from road mishaps.
The remarks were made by the top court in its December 15 judgement in which it ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national and state highways across the country while making it clear that licenses of the existing shops will not be renewed after March 31 next year.
“Human life is precious. As the road network expands in India, road infrastructure being an integral part of economic development, accidents profoundly impact on the life of common citizen. For a nation on the cusp of economic development, India can well avoid the tag of being the accident capital of the world,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said.
The bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, took note of the statistics placed before it by, according to which total number of people killed in road accidents on the national highways was 48,768 in 2012 and the death toll shot up to 51,204 in 2015.
In 2014, there were 1.24 lakh accident cases resulting in 46,110 deaths and 1.35 lakh people were injured in mishaps on the national highways while on state highways, the figure was 1.13 lakh accidents -- 1.24 lakh people injured and 39,352 killed.
“The expressways witnessed 4,208 accident cases, 4,229 injured and 1,802 deaths. Figures are also available of the distribution of road accidents by causes during 2014. “
“1.38 lakh persons were injured in road accidents involving dangerous or careless driving and 42,127 deaths occurred.”
“Injuries caused in accidents due to over-speeding stood at 1.81 lakh while there were 48,654 deaths. 7,307 accident cases involving driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol were registered resulting in 7,398 injuries and 2,591 deaths,” the bench noted in its order.