Supreme Court charts course for safe roads

Indian roads have proved to be giant killers demanding immediate attention and remedial action, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday and appointed a panel to suggest measures to prevent road accidents and to ensure accountability.

Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, who retires as Supreme Court judge on May 14 will be part of this panel along with S. Sundar, Former Transport Secretary and Dr. Nishi Mittal, formerly HoD, Traffic Engineering and Safety (TES).

>Table: Total Number of Persons Killed in Road Accidents in 2010

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana, gave this direction acting on a public interest writ petition (PIL) filed by renowned orthopaedician Dr. S. Rajasekaran.

The bench quoted figures furnished by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in the volume “ >Road Accidents in India 2010” highlighting the extent of increase of road accidents and fatal cases between 1970-2010.

It is reported that road traffic accidents in 2010 numbered 4,30,654 resulting in 1,26,896 deaths and serious injuries 4,66,600 that includes amputation of limbs. One serious road accident in the country occurs every minute; and one person dies in a road traffic accident every 4 minutes.

In his judgment Justice Gogoi said: “Road traffic accidents have the potential of being one of the largest challenges to orderly human existence necessitating immediate and urgent intervention.

“Regular maintenance of all highways and roads both by the Central and the State governments, in order to make the same traffic worthy, is the minimum that the citizens of this country can expect and are entitled to.

“We hardly need to emphasis that it is the duty of the Central and the State Governments to ensure the availability of safe roads worthy of traffic.”

The Bench asked the three-member panel to submit a report to the apex court after receipt of reports from Centre and States on the status of implementation and enforcement of various road safety laws.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 10:18:43 AM |

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