The bench has now posted the matter for May 9 to examine the plea for modification of its order whereby all diesel-run taxis had been ordered to go off the roads after April 30.
A group of state Ministers, constituted by the Centre to frame rules for road safety and mobility, is of the view that all commercial vehicles be phased out after eight years of service by disallowing certificate of roadworthiness after that vintage.
The GoM, in its draft interim report, said: “It is recommended that new vehicle should not require fitness certificate up to three years. Thereafter, fitness renewal should be required after every two years till the vehicle completes the age of eight years.”
Central Motor Vehicles Rules stipulate that two years after the date of purchase, transport vehicles — trucks, buses, taxis, autos, mini bus, van and tankers — must renew their fitness certificate each year with validity until the expiry date. There was no cap on the number of usage years provided the vehicle met fitness parameters.
“It is seen that the issue of fitness certificate has become a source for undesirable activities in the absence of adequate infrastructure for an objective check of vehicle fitness,” said the report approved by the GoM of transport ministers from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Odisha.
It is headed by Yoonus Khan, Minister for Transport in Rajasthan.
It has recommended that all states take up installation of an automated Inspection and Certification Centre for vehicle inspection. “The fee for testing may also be increased commensurately to provide for the cost of technology and equipment.” According to official data for the period 1951-2012, there are 51.73 crore transport vehicles.
The GoM said that driving licence for transport vehicle drivers be valid for five years instead of current three as “frequent renewal had become a source of undesirable practices”. It recommended that all states implement a transparent automated system for testing and assessment of a driver’s capability before issuing a licence.
For non-transport driving licences, it suggested that the periodicity for renewal be increased to 10 years after the age of 50 and be issued up to 70 years.
Currently, a licence is valid for 20 years from the date of issue or until the holder turns 50, whichever is earlier. After that, it has to be renewed every five years.
On vehicle registration, the GoM said that the “power to register new vehicles may be delegated to dealers” who have all the details of vehicles and their owner. “It is recommended that the original equipment manufacturers should provide standardized registration plate and dealers should have necessary equipment for writing numbers.”
Principal Secretaries of Transport of States and Transport Commissioners held a preparatory meeting in April to crystallize the agenda points for the GoM which met on April 29. As many as 1.46 lakh road fatalities were reported in 2015. As a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration, India is committed to reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020.