Govt to hike compensation payments to accident victims


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The government plans to hike the compensation packages to road accident victims and is set to introduce new regulations, according to Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The minister said the third party insurance scheme should be amended and implemented to provide reasonable compensation to victims.

The minister noted that his ministry would hold discussions with insurance companies to seek the possibilities of enhancing compensation in the near future.

Highlighting the increase in of road traffic accidents, especially those caused by bus drivers, Minister Siripala promised a new mechanism to bring the careless drivers to justice.

In order to reduce road traffic accidents, the Minister proposed to remove old vehicles from road, take action against speeding vehicles, introduce new technologies used by Wold Health Organization (WHO) and other organisations in the Sri Lankan transport system.

Minister de Silva, however, said that more than 2,200 people had died in road accidents in the first nine months of this year which was an increase of 349 deaths during the corresponding period of last year. In 2014, 36,050 road accidents occurred, causing 2,440 deaths.

He stressed that there had been an alarming increase in the number of injuries and deaths from road accidents so far this year. Therefore, it was a national need to take immediate steps to prevent accidents.

According to National Council on Road Safety (NCRS), last year, the government had earned a revenue of Rs. 27.7 mn through third party insurance and it had paid Rs. 1.05 million as compensation for deaths and Rs. 600,000 for critical injuries.

However, last year a total number of 63 applications had been submitted to NCRS while only 23 of them had received compensation.

Presently the Motor Traffic Act provides for Rs. 100, 000 to be paid as compensation to a hit-and-run victim in case of death and Rs. 75,000 in case of grievous injuries.

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