India can avoid tag of being world's accident capital: SC

In the year 2014, 2.37 lakh road accidents on national and state highways across the country were recorded. In the year, at least 85,462 people were dead and 2.59 lakh injured.

India can avoid tag of being world

As the country witnessed a large number of road accidents in the past few years, the Supreme Court on Saturday said proper enforcement of the law was needed for a nation like India, which is on the cusp of economic development, to protect precious human lives from road mishaps especially due to drunken driving.

In the year 2014, 2.37 lakh road accidents on national and state highways across the country were recorded. In the year, at least 85,462 people were dead and 2.59 lakh injured.


As per 2009 record, India had reported the highest number of road accident fatalities in the world which clearly indicated that a road accident occurred every four minutes.

India can avoid the tag of being the "accident capital of the world", was how the top court reacted on scanning the figures of vehicular deaths over the past several years while stressing on the need for "proper enforcement" of law preventing drunken driving.
The top court made the remark in its December 15 judgement, in which it ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national and state highways across the country while making it clear that licenses of the existing shops will not be renewed after March 31 next year.

"Human life is precious. As the road network expands in India, road infrastructure being an integral part of economic development, accidents profoundly impact on the life of the common citizen. For a nation on the cusp of economic development, India can well avoid the tag of being the accident capital of the world," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, took note of the statistics placed before it by the government agencies, according to which a total number of persons killed in road accidents on the national highways was 48,768 in 2012 which shot up to 51,204 in 2015.



The top court further said that on December 1, 2011, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in an advisory issued to Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories, had noted that India had reported the highest number of road accident fatalities in the world and data of 2009 indicated that a road accident occurred every four minutes.