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Panel for curbing road crashes

New Delhi, April 22: The Supreme Court today formed a high-powered committee to find out ways to curb the increasing number of road accidents across the country that claim one life every four minutes, according to official estimates.

The three-member panel, to be chaired by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, would also include S. Sundar, former secretary, Union ministry of surface transport; and Nishi Mittal, former chief scientist, Central Road Research Institute.

A bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and M.V. Ramana asked the Centre and states to come up with suggestions to counter problems like enforcement of laws and detail the steps taken to prevent loss of lives and injuries to people.

The directive came on a PIL filed by a Tamil Nadu-based orthopaedic, who brought to the court’s notice the growing number of deaths caused by accidents and lack of adequate response from the authorities.

The petition, which quoted from statistics published by the ministry of road transport and highways, said: “One serious road accident in the country occurs every minute; and one person dies in a road traffic accident every 4 minutes.”

The court asked the governments to submit their first report to the committee within three months.

The panel would become effective from May 15, the day after Justice Radhakrishnan demits office as an apex court judge.