With overspeeding accounting for over 62 per cent road accident deaths, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said cameras will be installed on National Highways to check errant drivers who would face stricter penalties.
“We are hopeful that the new Motor Vehicle Act is passed in the upcoming session of Parliament as a Group of Ministers, headed by Transport Minister of Rajasthan is likely to submit its report on stricter penalties and after the Cabinet nod the same would be introduced in Parliament,” Gadkari said addressing the media here.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister, who has been vocal that 30 per cent of licences in India were “bogus”, said a study of 2015 accidents showed that “owners of regular licences were involved in 79 per cent of about 5 lakh road accidents in which 1.46 lakh people died.”
Drivers’ fault accounted for 77 per cent of total road accidents, Gadkari said and stressed that India is the only country where driving licences are being issued liberally but the “government cannot allow it anymore”.
“Under the proposed new Motor bill, driving licences could be obtained only after a driver passes the test at the computerised centres and results will automatically be transmitted to concerned RTO through satellite and it would be mandatory for the RTO to issue license within 3 days else the officials would face penalty,” he said.
Around 20 computerised driving centres have been already set up in the country.
Likewise, to check errant drivers, cameras would be installed on highways to monitor the speed of the vehicles and strict penalties would be imposed on violators, he said.
Cities like Delhi already have them in place.
The minister said the report has found out that “drivers exceeding lawful speed or overspeeding accounted for a share of 62.2 per cent and 61 per cent of accidents caused or people killed due to drivers fault.
He said a National Road Safety Board was on the anvil and the Cabinet nod will be taken on it soon.
Stressing that the government is committed to ensuring safer travel, he said several important decisions were being taken to correct automobile designs and it has been mandatory to ensure airbags in vehicles besides provision of airconditioning in truck cabins.
A committee is looking into design of helmets to make them light and within three months the design would be finalised, he said.
Besides people violating vehicle norms will face stricter penalties, the minister said.
The GoM to frame stricter penalties for Road Safety Bill is scheduled to meet in Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh, on June 12 and would come up with its final recommendations soon, he said.
The interim recommendations on Road Safety Bill by GoM provides for a stringent penalty of Rs 100 crore and compulsorily recall for faulty designs and absence of necessary safety features in their vehicles.