- The National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 4, 2010 by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Kamal Nath. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, which is scheduled to submit its report within two months.
- The Bill seeks to establish a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board for the development and regulation of road safety, traffic management system and safety standards in highway design and construction.
- The Board shall consist of a Chairperson and five members appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee. The term shall be five years. The Chairperson shall have professional knowledge of administration and road transport. Members shall have experience in road design, automobile engineering, accident investigation, traffic management and trauma care.
- The functions of the Board include (a) recommending minimum standards for design, construction and maintenance of national highways, (b) recommending minimum standards for trauma and para-medical facilities for traffic related injuries on the national highway, and (c) conduct safety audits to monitor compliance with the standards notified by the central government. It shall also recommend minimum safety standards for manufacture of mechanically propelled vehicles and other types of vehicles, recommend minimum conditions of safety such as specifying the maximum load bearing and capacity limits, recommend standards for vehicular traffic on the national highways (speed lanes, right of way), conduct research on road safety and management, establish procedure for data collection, involve non-government organizations in promotion of road safety, and provide for special requirement of women, children and senior citizens.
- The Board may constitute an Advisory Committee of a maximum of 31 members in order to represent the interests of road users, construction industry, transport industry, and automobile manufacturers. The Committee shall advise the Board on questions of policy, road safety, and protection of road users interest.
- The National Road Safety and Traffic Management Fund shall be created by crediting one per cent of the cess on diesel and gasoline under the Central Road Fund Act, 2000; any grants and loans made by the central government; and any sum received by the Board from other sources to be prescribed by the central government.
- Any person who fails to comply with the standards of design or construction of highway or mechanically propelled vehicles as notified by the central government shall be liable to a fine of upto Rs 10 lakh, with an additional penalty if the person continues to commit the offence. Any person who willfully fails to furnish information or furnishes false information shall be liable to be fined upto Rs 1,000 and an additional penalty on subsequent offence.
- A court can take cognizance of an offence only on complaint made by the Board. Only a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or a Chief Judicial Magistrate can try an offence under this Act.
- The central government has the power to supersede the Board under prescribed conditions for a maximum period of six months.