The Supreme Court on Friday directed its committee led by a former apex court judge, Justice A.M. Sapre, to meet with the Road Transport Secretary within two weeks and work out a framework to mould State-specific guidelines for the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety across States even as it acknowledged that speeding is the main cause of fatal accidents on Indian roads.
A Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud agreed that urgent steps need to be taken to enforce Section 136A (electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The provision was introduced into the Act in 2019 to keep an electronic eye on errant drivers on national and State highways, roads, and urban cities across the country.
Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, for the Union, said the government has already framed Rules under sub-section (2) of Section 136A.
Section 136 (2) mandated the Centre to "make rules for the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety including speed cameras, closed-circuit television cameras, speed guns, body wearable cameras, and such other technology".
Senior advocate K.V. Jain, the counsel for petitioner Rajaseekharan, said overspeeding has claimed innocent lives on the roads. Mr. Jain said Sections 215A and B provided the functions of electronic monitoring to the States and the formation of a National Road Safety Board in an advisory capacity. Moreover, road safety councils were to be set up at the national, State, and district levels.
Amicus curiae Gaurav Agarwal said the focus ought to be and was on the "black spots" or accident-prone areas on roads where mishaps happen without the fault of drivers.
The court directed Justice Sapre to hold the preliminary meeting preferably within two weeks. The court asked Ms. Divan, Mr. Agarwal, and Mr. Jain to participate to give suggestions.
The Bench asked Mr. Agarwal to submit a report on the consensus reached during the meeting.
The court listed the case in February.