The Road Safety Committee formed by the Supreme Court to check lax enforcement of road laws has set the States a June 30 deadline to enforce 13 of its directives.
- The committee is headed by the former Supreme Court judge K.S. Radhakrishnan.
- The panel has asked the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry to introduce uniform crash tests for all categories of vehicles so that manufacturers do not discriminate between the base and higher models in the provision of safety features.
- The committee has directed that every State government has to formulate a road safety policy and set up a road safety council by June 30. The States have to draw up a protocol to identify black spots (where accidents are frequent) on roads and remove them. States should strengthen law enforcement to prevent drunk driving, speeding and jumping of signals and ensure use of helmet and seatbelt laws.
- The directives issued by the committee include tightening of road patrols on highways, setting up of a road safety fund to which a portion of traffic fines would go to finance road safety expenses and removal of encroachments on pedestrian paths.
- Another directive is to introduce automatic headlights for two-wheelers.
- They also include removal of roadside advertisements and posters that obstruct the view of drivers or distract them and a ban on sale of liquor on National and State highways.
- The panel has pointed out serious lapses by the States in the implementation of safety laws, leading to a rise in number of road fatalities. With just 1% of the vehicles in the world, India accounts for a staggering 10 per cent of deaths related to road accidents.
- The Committee has also pointed out that More than 75% of privately owned vehicles including two wheelers do not have insurance cover.
The committee was formed in April, 2014, on a public interest litigation petition to monitor implementation of road safety laws.
Sources: The Hindu.