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SC panel sets deadline to States on road safety

May,22,2015: States were given time till June 30 to enforce 13 directions issued the apex court, including removal of roadside ads and ban on alcohol sales on national highways.

Road Safety
Road Safety

The Supreme Court's Road Safety Committee, set up to check lax implementation of road laws, gave the State governments time till June 30 to enforce 13 directions issued by it, including removal of roadside ads and posters which obstruct or distract drivers and a total ban on alcohol sale on national and state highways.

The committee, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, was formed on April 22, 2014 by the apex court on the basis of a PIL to measure and monitor the implementation of road safety laws in the country.

The Justice Radhakrishnan committee states that 1,37,572 persons have been killed in 2013 according to statistics from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It said India has one percent of total vehicle population in the world and a “staggering” 10 percent road accident related deaths.

Justice Radhakrishnan met media person on Friday to discuss the work of the committee, which has asked the Transport Ministry to introduce regulations for Automatic Headlights On (AHO) on two-wheelers and uniform crash test requirements for all category of vehicles “so that no discrimination is made by the manufacturers between the base model and higher models in the provision of safety features”.

The committee has so far submitted three reports to the Supreme from October last year to March 2015. It has pointed out serious lapses in implementation of safety laws by States, which has led to increasing number of road fatalities.

By June 30, State governments have to formulate their respective State Road Safety policies besides setting up State Road Safety Councils. Besides this, States have to draw up a protocol to identify “black spots” on their roads and their removal.

The committee directed the States to strengthen enforcement on drunken driving, over speeding, red light jumping and helmet and seat belt laws.

Other directions include, tightening of road patrols on highways, establishment of road safety fund to which a portion of traffic fines collected would go to finance road safety expenses and remove encroachments on pedestrian paths, among others.Hindu

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