The Supreme Court, on Thursday, issued guidelines to reduce the number of deaths that occur as a result of road accidents.
The Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was hearing a PIL filed by Dr. S. Rajaseekaran, who is the Chairman and Head of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore.
Dr. Rajaseekaran had submitted that 90% of road accident deaths occur due to lack of strict enforcement of safety rules on roads and lack of strict punishment for those who do not obey such rules. He had then suggested adoption of practical measures to give effect to legislations, reports and recommendations for ensuring reduction in the number of lives lost due to road accidents.
During the pendency of the Petition, the Centre had constituted a Committee on Road Safety under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court Judge, Justice K. S. Radhakrishnan. The Committee has since submitted 12 reports and was commended by the Court for its work. The Court had also appointed Advocate Gaurav Agrawal as the amicus curiae.
In today's order, the Court began by noting that the number of deaths due to road accidents in the country is said to be over 100,000 in a year, which translates to about one death every three minutes. It further noted that the compensation awarded for deaths and other motor accident claims runs into hundreds of crores of rupees.
It then considered the suggestions put forth by all parties and issued the following directions:
"1. Road Safety Policy: Most of the State Governments and Union Territories have already framed a Road Safety Policy. Those that have not framed such a policy namely Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, must now formulate the Road Safety Policy by 31st January, 2018. All States and Union Territories are expected to implement the Road Safety Policy with all due earnestness and seriousness.