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Ensure Motor Bill passage in Parliament in Winter Session: NGOs

Demanding passage of the proposed Motor Bill that promises reforms in the transport sector, leading NGOs today called upon the parliamentary standing committee to vet the legislation and submit report at the earliest.

By: | Islamabad | Updated: September 23, 2016 6:38 PM
On August 16, the Bill was referred to the parliamentary standing committee (PSC) on transport, tourism and culture for its review and recommendations. (Source: Reuters)

Demanding passage of the proposed Motor Bill that promises reforms in the transport sector, leading NGOs today called upon the parliamentary standing committee to vet the legislation and submit report at the earliest.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016, introduced in Parliament on August 9 by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, aims to fill the gaps in the legislative framework that governs road safety in the country by amending the 28-year-old Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA).

On August 16, the Bill was referred to the parliamentary standing committee (PSC) on transport, tourism and culture for its review and recommendations.

The NGOs, working on road safety across India, discussed the issues at a workshop here and urged the government to ensure the “Bill is passed in the Winter Session without delay”.

The unanimous view was that the Bill is a significant step forward and specific policy gaps still needed to be addressed, as per a statement issued by them here.

“…we welcome introduction of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Bill addresses various crucial safety elements such as child safety, improvement in driver licensing system, provision for electronic enforcement and rationalisation of penalties for various life-threatening offences…,” said SaveLIFE Foundation.

“We urge the standing committee to… submit its report at the earliest so that the Bill can be passed in the Winter Session.”

The NGOs in question are Consumer Voice (Delhi), Centre for Road Safety-Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice (Jaipur), Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (Chennai), CUTS International (Jaipur), Institute of Public Health (Bengaluru) and Parisar (Pune), which urged the panel to comprehensively address safety of children during commuting.

One of the proposals was inclusion of mandatory use of child restraint systems in line with recognised safety standards as well as provisions to ensure appropriate headgear for children under 4 years of age on two-wheelers.

International experts on road safety from the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), a hosted project of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, supported the government’s recent efforts to improve the country’s road safety.

India accounts for as high as 5 lakh road accidents per annum in which 1.5 lakh people are killed and 3 lakh are crippled. Gadkari has stressed that efforts are on to reduce the fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020.

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