India has ‘dubious distinction’ in road mishaps: Apex Court panel
India had the “dubious distinction” of leading the nations having maximum road accidents, a Supreme Court panel said on Friday, as it lashed out at the Centre and the states for lack of coordination even over collection of data on road accident victims.
A Supreme Court-appointed committee on road safety said “India has the dubious distinction of leading the world in road related accidents and deaths” but there was no coordination between the central and state authorities on the collection of data on road fatalities.
The three-member panel, headed by former apex court judge K S Radhakrishnan, said “as per the figures published by the (Union) Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, the number of persons killed in road accidents in the year 2013 was 1,37,572.
“The accuracy of the data published by the government of India is questionable since the data submitted by the state government to the committee shows the number of deaths as 1,42,011.”
Pointing to the discrepancy in the numbers, it said there was no uniform pattern to collect data and asked the government to establish a methodology for collecting and reporting data that ensures accuracy.
The committee, which also comprises former secretary in Surface Transport Ministry and TERI fellow S Sundar and former Chief Scientist of Central Road Research Institute Dr Nishi Mittal, said it found no cooperation or coordination between various ministries like Health, Education and transport in addressing the issues of road safety.
An “alarming situation” which has come to light was that 70-75 per cent of two wheelers plying on the road were without any insurance, the panel, which completed a year of working on May 14, said.
Further, there were “serious lapses” in all the states in implementing road safety laws and measures, the committee members said in an interaction with reporters here.