SC forms panel to enforce road safety laws

SC forms panel to enforce road safety laws

Terming Indian roads “giant killers” demanding immediate attention and remedial action, the Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed a three-member committee to scrutinise and monitor enforcement of statutory provisions including the Motor Vehicles Act for making roads safer.

“Indian roads have proved to be giant killers demanding immediate attention and remedial action. Such attention and necessary intervention, in the first instance, is required to be made by the concerned governmental agencies,” said a bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N V Ramana in their judgment.

Favouring a four-dimensional approach — of enforcement, engineering, education and emergency care — to make roads safe, the court constituted a three-member committee which comprises Justice K S Radhakrishnan, former surface transport secretary S Sunder and ex-chief scientist of the Central Road Research Institute.

The Supreme Court said that the central and state governments were expected to enforce the existing laws with all the might at their command.

It directed all state governments and authorities concerned, engaged in the multi-dimensional approach pertaining to road safety, to submit their first report to the committee within three months.

The report would indicate the state of implementation and enforcement of all laws in respect to licensing, fitness of vehicles, limits on passenger and weight-carrying capacity and other aspects, including the deployment of adequate manpower for enforcement of the existing provisions of law.

The court also said: “All existing laws and norms including the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, as in force, are required to be implemented in the right earnest and with all vigour by the authorities responsible for their implementation.”

Noting that the number of road accidents and the consequent casualties have registered a disturbing increase over China, Justice Gogoi, speaking for the bench, said: “In this regard, it would require specific mention that while the death rate in China, which had stood at par with India at a certain point of time, has shown a significant downward trend, in case of India, the said figures have shown a disturbing increase.”

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