New Delhi: A bill to facilitate setting up of
an independent body to put in place safety provisions for
national highways and improved safety standards in road
designs was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board
Bill was introduced by Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath.
The Board will be set up for the purpose of orderly
development, regulation, promotion and optimization of modern
and effective road safety and traffic management system,
the minister said.
It will also seek to introduce improved safety standards
in highway design, construction, operation and regulate high
standards in production and maintenance of mechanically
propelled vehicles, he said.
The decision is crucial considering the increasing number
of deaths on highways, which already accounts for most road
fatalities in the world.
The minister noted that the number of deaths in road
accidents has increased to 1.14 lakh in 2007 from 84,674
deaths in 2002.
The bill also envisages creation of National Road Safety
and Traffic Management Fund or meeting the expenses of the
Board by levying one per cent of cess on petrol and diesel.
The proposed national road safety and traffic management
board will be responsible for prescribing steps to uplift
safety standards in the design, construction and maintenance
of highways, besides suggesting safety measures for motor
The board will have the authority to conduct regular
safety audits of national highways and establish proper
procedure for collection, transmission and analysis of road
It will also advise the Centre on administering the road
The bill has provisions of slapping a penalty of Rs 10
lakh for failing to maintain standards by the builder while
constructing national highways as recommended by the Board.