Motor bill passed by Lok Sabha
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday; the bill seeks to curtail deaths and injuries caused by crashes and reform the road-transport sector. The proposed legislation will now move to the Rajya Sabha for approval. It includes harsh penalties for traffic violators, fake licenses; including increasing the fine for drunken driving from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 10,000.
Motor Vehicles Act 1988
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 came into force on 1st July 1989. It provides detailed legislative provisions regarding different aspects of road transport vehicles. It replaced Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 which in turn, had replaced the first such enactment, Motor Vehicles Act, 1914.
Changes required in the existing Motor Vehicle Act
In the existing Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 sections, out of which the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 aims to amend 68. It has deleted chapter 10 and replaced chapter 11 with new provisions to simplify third-party insurance claims and settlement processes. The Government said that through these changes it is committed to reducing the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years.
Government introduces Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill to improve road safety
On Tuesday, Minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari introduced the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Lok Sabha, despite objections from opposition parties. The bill aims at improving road safety in the country and proposes to increase penalties against traffic violations as a deterrent measure. The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi gave its approval for the Bill last week.
Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha amid chaos
Gadkari introduced the Bill in Lok Sabha amid protests from Opposition which said that copies of the document were not circulated to them in advance as per the protocol. The MPs suggested referring it to a standing committee after which it could be passed through majority. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan overruled the objections, noting that Gadkari was only tabling it and discussions would occur later.
Increase in compensation for hit and run cases to Rs.2 lakh and upto Rs.10 lakh in road-accidents fatalities. Increase in penalties to Rs.20000 for drinking and driving, Rs.1000 for driving without seat belt and riding without wearing a helmet, besides disqualification of driver's license for three months. Addition of online services such as enabling online learning licenses and increasing validity period for driving licenses.
The drafting committee of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill
The bill has been drafted following recommendations by a group of ministers headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister, Yunus Khan. The group comprised of 18 transport ministers from different political parties. The Committee submitted three interim reports to the ministry before introducing it in the Parliament.