Constitute Road Safety Council, frame policy by Jan 31: Apex Court to UT Administration

Report by: 
Port Blair
3 Dec 2017

The Supreme Court has directed the Andaman and Nicobar Administration to frame a road safety policy and constitute the Road Safety Council latest by January 31, 2018. The directives for framing the road safety policy were also issued to Delhi, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli within the stipulated period while Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Andaman and Nicobar Islands     were found lagging behind in forming the Road Safety Council despite setting up of a committee on road safety under former Supreme Court judge, K.S. Radhakrishnan, as per reports.
Disposing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by a Coimbatore-based ortho-surgeon last week, the Apex Court directed all States and Union Territories to frame a Road Safety Policy and the setting up of a lead agencies to work as secretariats of State Road Safety Councils to co-ordinate on activities such as licensing issues like driving licences, registration of vehicles, road safety and features of vehicles. The judgment by a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed that insurance companies had spent Rs 11,480 crores by way of road accident compensation in 2015-16, while as on November 7, 2016, there was one death almost every three minutes due to road accidents. “Only half the number of families of the victims were compensated. This was despite the apex court's intervention and setting up of a committee on road safety under former Supreme Court judge, K.S. Radhakrishnan.”
The Apex Court has made it mandatory for States and Union Territories to establish Road Safety Fund, the corpus of which would come from traffic fines collected. The money would be used to meet the expenses for road safety and also directed framing Road Safety Action Plans by March 31 to reduce the number of road accidents, as well as the fatality rate. The Union Ministry of Transport has been asked to frame a protocol for road design, road quality and identification of black spots. The Apex Court will review the situation in February 2018, according to information.