SC’s decision to ban liquor shops along highways

Context

Recently, SC banned the liquor shops along highways across India.

Discussion

SC said “the human life is precious” while banning the liquor shops along highways to reduce road accidents. As the government statistics shows one road accident taking place every four minutes and it is the number one killer of young men and women who are very important for country’s growth. The decision is in contravention of Article 19 (1) (g) but it can be done according to Article 47 on the grounds of improving public health.

The recommendations of SC are as follows:

  • Formulation of road safety policy as there are serious lapses by states in implementing safety laws.
  • Setting up separate agencies for road safety to eliminate difficulties in enforcing judicial orders.
  • Use of seat belts and helmets.
  • Bringing uninsured vehicles under insurance cover by enabling vehicle data sharing with insurance companies.

In a report, Law Commission stated that 50% of the road fatalities could have been avoided if the victims would have got medical care within an hour. Though in India road infrastructure is getting better for example Yamuna Expressway, but in winters due to fog many accidents occur. Infrastructure should be coupled with the technology for better implementation of safety laws. Recently the Good Samaritan law campaign has gained momentum and ordered centre to make guidelines for giving legal protection, rights and empower citizens who helps the accident victims. Many states are working on that law and Karnataka is the first state to promulgate it.

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