Smart cards for driving licence by March next: Baalu

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Smart cards for driving licences and registration certificates for vehicles, along with electronically linking of Regional Transport Offices of states, will be completed by March next year.

This was announced by Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu during his inaugural address at the 2nd International Road Federation (IRF) Regional Conference on ''Road Safety - Design, Construction and Operations of Roads'', here today.

Mr Baalu also informed that a Committee constituted for formulation of a National Road Transport Policy had recently submitted its report for giving direction for improvement of road transport as well as road sector.

''The report is under active consideration of the Union Government,'' he said.

Expressing serious concern over the rising number of road accidents in the country, he said as per the latest available data, the number stood at a whopping 4,40,000 in which about 95,000 persons were killed in 2005.

The minister said the Government had set up a Committee on road safety issues, which had recommended creation of a dedicated body on Road Safety and Traffic Management.

''The government is looking into the report to chalk out a strategy to deal with the menace of road accidents,'' he added.

Mr Baalu said state authorities had also been requested to strictly enforce traffic laws, take effective measures to control overloading and install unified checkposts at the State borders.

''With the cooperation of all the State Governments, the road safety scenario in the country would improve,'' he said.

He also asked the participants to dwell upon the issues like development of an efficient system of traffic management involving coordination between multiple agencies and defining their roles; scientific investigation of fatal accidents to find out their real causes for taking corrective measures; and involvement and participation of public in enhancement of road safety.


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