Law to enforce road safety in India soon: minister

Bangalore, Feb 19 (Calcutta Tube) India will soon have a stringent law to enforce road safety and check the alarming rate of casualties in road accidents, Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said Friday.

‘We propose to introduce an amendment bill in the ensuing budget session of parliament to set up a National Road Safety Management Board to strictly enforce road safety rules across the country,’ Nath said at an interactive session with captains of industry here.

Admitting that India had the unfortunate distinction of having the worst road safety record in the world, Nath said the Road Safety Management Bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act was being drafted in consultation with the central law ministry.

‘The proposed board will lay down certain standards and rules to enforce the law. We need a holistic approach towards road safety with international standards,’ Nath told the members of the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), which organised the session.

The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 will redefine the speed limits. The draft amendments will also be made public for comments from stakeholders, including manufacturers, regulators, law enforcing agencies (police) and road users.

As per the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global status report on road safety, India tops the global list of deaths in road accidents with 125,000 fatalities and at least 2.2 million serious injuries each year.

India also accounts for 10 per cent of global road accident deaths. The national campaign has been launched with the target of reducing road accident deaths by 50 per cent by 2012.

‘There is a road accident taking place in India every minute, and a road accident death every four-and-a-half minutes. This is not acceptable,’ Nath was quoted as saying at the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi last month.

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