Hyderabad: With Telangana recording, highest death rates in road accidents every year in the country and with increasing vehicle density every day, the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Road Safety has suggested heavy and punitive penalties for violation of road rules.
It also said that some form of restrictions may be required on the entry of new vehicles on the State’s roads to reduce vehicle density while simultaneously taking up improvements in public transport.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee that met here on Monday also recommended that a comprehensive road safety legislation is readied for introduction in the next session of the State Legislature.
The other significant recommendations discussed by the Committee included the introduction of lessons on road safety at the primary school level including those run on NCERT syllabus, setting up of an independent Road Safety Authority as well as a Road Safety Fund. Money for the proposed Fund is to be accrued through fines and penalties collected from those who break road rules.
Also on the cards is a stricter and western model of issuing driver’s licences, extensive use of speed guns and installation of speed control equipment on roads. Another important issue that was discussed at Monday’s meeting was about how drivers of larger vehicles, when involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, are automatically blamed and held responsible for such an event.
Officials were told by the Committee to frame rules and regulations to curb this practice that sometimes results in innocent people being victimised for no fault of theirs and blamed for causing accidents.
The Committee comprises Roads & Buildings Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao, Urban Development and IT Minister KT Rama Rao, Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy and Endowments & Housing Minister A Indrakaran Reddy.
The meeting was also attended among others by Principal Secretary Transport, Roads & buildings Suneel Sharma, Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, DGP Railway Police Krishna Prasad, Engineer-In-Chief (R&B) National Highways, I Ganapati Reddy, Engineer-In-Chief (R&B) State Highways P Ravinder Rao and Prof Lakshman Rao of JNTU.
Nageswara Rao, the Committee chairman, said after the meeting that about 7,000 deaths were being registered each year in the State on account of about 20,000 road accidents. “It is sad that so many people lose their lives because of these accidents,” he said.
Transport Minister Mahender Reddy said it was time to frame and implement tougher road rules to prevent accidents and the resultant injuries and deaths in the State. He said it was sad to see young people, particularly in the age group of 25 to 35, involved in accidents after consuming liquor and driving or riding their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
Once the Committee prepares its final report, it will be submitted to Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for final approval and then to the State Cabinet.