SC panel recommends Ban on Alcohol sale on Highways

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A Supreme Court panel on road safety led by retired judge KS Radhakrishnan has recommended ban on sale of alcohol on all national and state highways. The panel believes, the move will help drastically reduce cases of road accidents across the country.

According to the statistics available in the public domain, nearly 1.5 lakh Indians lose their lives in road accidents each year. The panel also highlighted the inadequacy on the part of the state governments in enforcing the motor vehicle act. It pointed out that except Nagaland, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh, none of the other state governments came up with a road safety policy yet.

“The education programmes relating to road safety are undertaken on ad hoc and unscientific manner and do not target a large number of road users,” the report stated, while adding: “States also do not have adequate number of trauma centres and the ambulances do not have required medical facilities”.

“The procedure for issuing licenses is also very lax. A large number of licences are issued by licensing officer in one day which implies that standards are not met.”

The reported of the panel was placed before the apex court on Friday following which, the court asked all state governments to implement the recommendation. However, the SC warned that the recommended ban on sale of alcohol would be accompanied by financial implications on the states.

“We are not saying that what you are doing is wrong but there is a financial implication and it may be difficult for the states to implement,” a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit said.

The panel was formed following an order by the Supreme Court in April, 2014. Calling Indian roads as “giant killers”, the apex court had appointed the three member committee to evaluate and monitor enforcement of statutory provisions including the Motor Vehicles Act in an attempt to make roads safer.


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