Parliamentarians and others today called for early enactment of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, 2017 that aims to usher in far-reaching reforms in the transport sector. The bill, which would amend the nearly 30-year old Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, was passed by the Lok Sabha last year but the Rajya Sabha referred it to a 24-member Select Committee for security on August 8 to be submitted to the House on the first day of the next session “without extension of time”.
Lok Sabha MP and Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport Harish Chand Meena said the bill will be passed at the earliest by the Rajya Sabha, according to a statement by CUTS International, which organised an event here. He said however that just passing the bill will not solve the purpose and there should be awareness about the laws among people and they should follow the rules.
There is a need that the government, public and stakeholders fulfil their duties towards road safety and the media should help generate awareness among public.
D Raja, Rajya Sabha MP raised concerns of states, transport unions and other stakeholders with regard to the Bill, saying it has to be inclusive in nature.
Cuts director George Cheriyan said India has only 2 per cent population of the world but it accounts for 10 per cent of road accidents.
In 2016, 1.5 lakh persons were killed in road accidents and 4.94 lakh were injured. Stressing upon the need to pass the bill at the earliest, he said that most of the persons dying on the Indian roads are in the 18-35 year age group.
Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Programme Coordinator CUTS International highlighted some of the issues opposed by some southern states that included licensing and regulation of motor training driving schools.
States should have the power to frame and enforce rules regarding temporary registration, he said and added that some states are demanding two years for implementing the provisions related to online licensing etc.
Nalin Sinha, Consultant, Global Road Safety Incubator said one of the the main causes of road accident in the country is over speeding followed by over-loading. The bill aims at bringing radical reforms in the transport sector, ranging from hefty fines for traffic rules violations to improving the licensing system and checking bogus licences.
It also aims at ushering in multi-fold hike in fines for traffic violations, compensation of Rs 5 lakh for grave injuries and proposing steps to check vehicle thefts.
The bill has been framed by transport ministers of states after taking the best global practises from US, UK and Singapore.