The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill of 2016, that was expected to be passed in the Rajya Sabha is being met with some opposition. As of now, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has been met with vehement opposition over his statement that forces within the RTO are opposing the Motor Vehicles Act, as the passing of this bill will curb the power, corruption being held by the RTOs. However, despite the opposition, Gadkari is sticking to his guns saying that they will continue to build consensus over the Act and that he’s talking to all political parties but opposition should not come at the cost of road safety. He added that there are presently 1.5 lakh deaths related to road accidents every year in India and this should not be allowed to continue.
Prima-Facie, Bill’s provision seems to indicate that if passed, the bill could make a lot of the process involved in having a driving license or owning a car much easier than it was with the RTOs acting middle-man. First, the bill will ensure that one does not need to go to a local RTO for a driving license. It can be applied for through any licensing authority within the state. The Bill even has a provision for applying online for one Learners’ Licence with physical presence at the RTO being required only at the time of the test. Furthermore, as per the amendment, new vehicles can be registered anywhere in the state and the paperwork will be done by the vehicle dealer. The number will be allotted on payment of tax by the RTOs through online payment of tax. All of this will remove the need for physical inspection of the car considering that most factory built cars go through several tiers of inspection before making it to showrooms.
The bill also has provision for hefty fines for automakers whose cars don’t meet pre-set norms. Finally, the bill also seeks for stricter action against juvenile driving, which results in registration cancellation of a vehicle for a year if it meets with an accident and is driven by a minor.
The Bill will also address the almost plaguing issue of pedestrian discipline and the movement of non-motorised vehicles such as rickshaws. The bill will seek to ensure that these vehicles will no longer be allowed to ply against the direction of traffic. If this bill is passed it could very seriously change the flow of traffic in the country and be beneficial to the people who will no longer have to jump through hoops to get a driving license or legally own a vehicle.