India Believes Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill Should Passe in Current Parliamentary Session
· MPs also see Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill as a crucial reform for road safety
New Delhi: 96% of the people in the country are eagerly waiting for the Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill to be passed in this parliamentary session, revealed a recent survey conducted by Consumer Voice, a leading consumer organization. According to the survey people feel that this is a very strong bill and will be able to meet UN mandate of reducing accident up to 50% by 2020, if passed in this parliamentary session and helmet wearing provisions made compulsory for all riders. Moreover, approximately 97% people feel it should be supported by all the parties since it will bring down accidents, roads accidents and injuries on Indian Roads.
The survey further reported that 95% people consider child safety an important aspect of the bill and approximately 98% people believe that helmet wearing provisions should be there for all the two wheeler’s riders specially children. 90% of the people want that Alcohol Testing level should be reduced to more stringent levels to help in preventing road accidents. Moreover 87% people expect that high penalties must be levied for better road discipline.
The bill provides for stringent penalties including jail term and fines for drunk driving, over speeding, jumping of traffic light and non-wearing of seat belts and helmets. The guardians of juvenile offenders will also be deemed guilty and will be liable to pay a fine and serve imprisonment for 3 years. The fines pertaining to traffic offences will increase by 10% annually.
Speaking on the bill, Mr. Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer Voice said, “We are extremely happy to know that Motor Vehicle Act Bill 2016 has been tabled before Lok Sabha by Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport. After going through the draft bill, we feel that most of the PSC recommendations have been incorporated and stringent provisions are there. However, we are looking forward to clarity on child safety and drink driving provisions besides introduction of provision related to novious driver punishment. Also, the central authority created should have powers to adjudicate matters related to road safety and transportation rather than being an advisory body.”
He further added that Every year, thousands of citizens get injured or killed along with other road users on Indian roads due to poor roads and a weak road safety law in India. Approximately 1,374 accidents and 400 accidental deaths take place every day on Indian roads, as per report released by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH) in 2015. A tough law is needed to bring down by 50 % the road traffic accidents by 2020, a commitment India made by adopting the Brasilia Declaration for Road Safety.
A day prior to the tabling of the bill, Members of Parliament including those from Standing Committee got together to brainstorm on the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill during the Panel Discussion hosted by Consumer Voice.
During the Panel discussion MP, Mr. Oscar Fernandes said that we are all aware that the Bill is a crucial bill that will be affecting lives of all the citizens, either as a motorists or pedestrians and it should be passed without further delay.
Explaining the need of the hour, Mr KTS Tulsi, senior advocate and Member of Parliament [Nominated] highlighted pertinent points that requires attention and calls for accountability from the accused in the cases of road accidents. Mr. Tulsi noted that in a country of over 1.3 billion people, 48% of the populace succumb to road accidents in the cases of over-speeding, 46% people die due to drunken driving, as per the records from the National Crime Bureau. He further noted that automobiles, which were meant to be a luxury for the common man has ended up being the biggest killer of mankind In order to ensure that the number of road deaths are brought down drastically, Mr. Tulsi, a noted scholar said that the bill is a move in the right direction and the sooner it is implemented, the better it will it be for the citizens.
The discussion was an initiative to join hands with media and MPs as they have a strong role in building support for urgent passing of the Bill. In view of the concerns on road safety, CONSUMER VOICE along with its national, regional and state partners are forming “Alliance for Road Safety” to monitor the road safety regulations implementation and act as a think tank group to save lives.
Other honourable Members of Parliament such as Prof. P. Bhattacharya, Shri Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, Shri Prabhatsinh Pratapsinh Chauhan, Shri. Shankarbhai N. Vegad and Dr. Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu echoed their sentiments on the proposed bill and assured that they will voice their opinions in both Houses so that the bill is passed with immediate effect.