Bengal to slap murder charge on drivers in case of road accidents

Kokata, Nov 8 (IANS) Concerned over frequent road accidents, the West Bengal government has decided to frame stricter traffic rules including slapping murder charges on drivers in case of accidental deaths, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Tuesday.

A bunch of new rules and amendments to existing regulations would come into effect from December to enhance road safety and ensure drivers acted in a more responsible manner behind the wheels. The pedestrians would also be made more aware about traffic laws.

Expressing her concern over the increasing number of road accidents in the state and citizens’ indifference towards the state government introduced ‘Safe drive, save life’ road policy, Banerjee said: “Strong steps would be taken against drunken driving and using cell phones while driving. Driving license would be cancelled if traffic rules are violated more than thrice. The vehicle’s road permit will also be scrapped.”

She said she has instructed police to take harsh steps to cut down on reckless accidents.

“Murder cases can be lodged depending on the nature of the accident,” she said at the state secretariat Nabanna in neighbouring Howrah district.

Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha said that police may charge the car drivers with murder or attempt to murder charges in case of accidental death, looking at the nature of the accident.

Banerjee said a month’s time would be given to the citizens to become aware about the new rules. “The fresh rules will come into force from December.”

Detailing other steps, the Chief Minister said CCTV cameras and watch towers will be installed at important locations, and parkomats set up to stop unnecessary parking of vehicles on the road.

She said just as the state government recently provided a green corridor to facilitate cadaver organ transplant, it would set up a clean corridor in emergency situations.

“Like green corridor, we will set up clean corridor in case of emergency situations,” she said.

Constructions materials will not be allowed to be kept on the road.

“We have garbage compactors. But still people deposit black money on the roadside. We won’t allow that,” said Banerjee.