Road Safety Committee Asked To File Report In Two Weeks

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over road deaths due to potholes, saying that such fatalities were more than the number of people killed in terror attacks.

Taking cognisance of a TOI report on Sunday (July

15) which pointed out how pothole-related accidents claimed 3,597 lives in 2017 in comparison to 803 in all terror and Maoist attacks during the year, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the SC-appointed road safety committee to look into the issue and file a report within two weeks.

Referring to the report, the bench said, “So many people are dying due to accidents caused by potholes on roads. Reports say that more people have died due to accidents caused by potholes than deaths in terrorist attacks.”

The panel, headed by Justice (retd) K S Radhakrishnan, has been asked to give suggestions on the measures needed to deal with the problem. Pothole-related road deaths had increased by more than 50% last year compared to 2016.

The bench also observed that families of those killed in such accidents should be entitled to compensation. The judges said it was “common knowledge” that a large number of people have died in accidents due to potholes on roads and the authorities had failed to carry out their duties. “It is frightening. It is about life or death,” the bench said.

The bench also dealt with the issue of compensation paid to hit-and-run victims.

Currently, Rs 25,000 is paid to a hit-and-run victim in case of death and Rs 12,500 compensation for grievous injuries. The amicus curiae said the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which revises the compensation to Rs 2 lakh in case of death and Rs 20,000 for injury in road accidents, was tabled last year in Parliament and it was passed by Lok Sabha. Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, appearing for Centre, said the bill was pending in Rajya Sabha. She said the bill could be taken up in Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Parliament session.