Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

Personal Vehicle on a Public Road


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Road safety issues

The Delhi government has told the Delhi High Court that a personal vehicle on a public road cannot be said to be a private zone — rather, it is a public space.

Do you know?

India sees the largest number of road fatalities in the world. More than 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road crashes in the country in 2018, according to government data.

Why such an argument?

  • The argument was given to defend its decision of making it compulsory for people to wear masks when they are travelling.

Supreme Court’s definition of ‘public space’

  • The Supreme Court in one of its ruling has said defined a “public place” to mean any place to which the public has access, whether as a matter of right or not — and includes all places visited by the general public, and also includes any open space.
  • The keywords are “any place to which public have access”, which phrase is further qualified by the phrase “whether as a matter of right or not”, the court noted.
  • When a private vehicle is passing through a public road it cannot be accepted that the public has no access.
  • It is true that the public may not have access to a private vehicle as a matter of right but definitely, public has the opportunity to approach the private vehicle while it is on the public road, said the court.

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