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Framing of Policy relating to road accidents directed to the Centre, by Hon’ble Supreme Court

New Delhi: Looking to the seriousness behind the increasing number of the road mishaps or accidents and the huge number of people dying in the such accidents i.e. around 1.50 lakhs every year, the Hon’ble Apex Court of India issued directions to the Central Government to convene a meeting secretaries of transport of all State Governments on the issue and frame a menace controlling policy.

The Apex Court ordered these directions on this yesterday (i.e. Friday 10th April) where its Bench consisting of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday U. Lalit also considered the issue of not providing proper accommodation to the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Judge K. S. Radhakrishnan (now retired) who headed the Central Government appointed panel for suggesting measures for making safe roads for commuters.

Our country is having the highest number of fatal road accidents in the world, with the ratio of every single accidental death in every 4 minutes.

In the recommendations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s appointed panel for preventing such accidents, prohibition on selling of alcohol on the National as well as State Highways is one which is to reduce a number of drunk driving.

Moreover, it was directed by the Committee to the State, while observing negligence of the State in enforcing the Motor Vehicles Rules, that the enforcement of laws must be strengthen on their part which are against such drunk driving, over-speeding driving and other relevant acts. There are only few including State of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh- UP and Nagaland who have framed their Road safety policies and remaining others have not yet shown their interests as such. Even as per committee, there is no implementation of Helmet laws on the part of Governments.

Further, the Committee suggested that there should be an audit conducted by the States for ensuring incorporation of Safety standards in the design, construction and maintenance, etc. of the Roads and Highways. It was noted that there is a huge number of driving licences issued by the licensing authorities a day, thus the standards not been followed and this is because the procedure for issuing such licences is very poor, as per committee.

It was observed that last month the Hon’ble Supreme Court has requested the enhancement of punishment in motor accident fatal cases where death is caused by rash and negligent driving of drivers. The request was made to the Legislative organ to provide for such enhancement by amending the relevant provisions in the existing legislation. And the Court in that case, termed the drivers as ‘emperors of the Road’ and cause death of innocents.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.