12/15/2016, 13.41
INDIA
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With 150,000 road accident deaths, Indian Supreme Court bans alcohol sales on highways

The ban comes into effect on 1 April. All existing licenses will not be renewed. Shops will have to remove signage and be at least 500 metres from highways. Every day, 1,374 accidents take place, with 17 deaths per hour.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Supreme Court of India on Thursday ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national and state highways because of the high number of fatal accidents.

According to the latest report from the Transport Ministry, about 150,000 Indians die in road accidents each year, with three times as many injured.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur ruled that the ban will come into force on 1 April, 2017 and that existing licenses of liquor shops on highways will not be renewed after 31 March 2017.

The Court also directed that all signage indicating presence of liquor stores will be prohibited on national and state highways, and that such shops must be at least 500 metres away from highways.

In their decision, the judges said that high revenue generation cannot be a "valid reason" for a state or a Union territory to licence liquor shops.

In 2015, there were at least 500,000 road accidents. On an average, that is 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths per day, or 57 accidents and 17 deaths per hour.

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