The National Road Safety Council has developed a multi-sectoral action plan to identify flaws in road safety laws and to curb the increase in traffic accidents. Suggestions for amendment of the existing road safety laws were generated over a three-day workshop organised by the National Road Safety Council and sponsored by the World Health Organization attended by experts in the field of transport.
A number of issues such as flaws in Sri Lankan road safety laws, required amendments and drafting new laws, life and property related obligations were discussed. The proposal, compiled by local and foreign experts in the field was tabled by National Road Safety Council Chairman Dr. Sisira Kodagoda. Suggestions generated during the workshops ranged from child safety, protective head gear and regulations related to seatbelt use.
Other proposals included installation of CCTV cameras in major towns and locations prone to accidents and lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.04 percent (The current legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08, steps have already been taken to bring it down to 0.05.
Experts were of the view that it should be brought to 0.04), with accompanying new technologies to determine blood alcohol levels, reducing speed limit from 50 to 30 kilometers per hour in congested cities. The local and international experts have suggested to set helmet standards with provisions to make use of helmets that comply with the set standards mandatory, devise technical methods to make three wheelers safer, empower the National Road Safety Council by converting it into an Authority, and allowing the Council to function as a central data collection point, in order to create a country profile using the data.
The experts’ report was presented to Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala de Silva at the conclusion of the series of workshops. It will be presented to Parliament shortly.