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Parliamentarians cutting across party lines have demanded early passage of proposed Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016, a research advocacy body said on Wednesday. CUTS International, a research and advocacy organisation which hosted a Parliamentarians’ Forum on Economic Policy Issues (PARFORE), said that the members participating in it demanded passage of the bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament as India accounted for a large number of deaths in road crashes.
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Parliamentarians “suggested for improvements in driver licensing system and provisions for effective electronic enforcement. Parliamentarians strongly put forward the need for scientific investigation of road crashes and omitting the limit on insurer’s liability in third party motor accidents in the MVA Bill, 2016,” CUTS said in a statement.
G K Pillai, former home secretary and member, Board of Trustees, Save Life Foundation, gave a detailed presentation about the MVA Bill and its key proposed amendments.
“Dinesh Trivedi, MP, AITC and Former Railway Minister and Chairman, Standing Committee on Railways opined that Indian road scenario is very scary, so there must be some deterrence and at the same time there has to be introduction of new technology and strict monitoring of the traffic violations like air traffic control, then only Indian roads can be made safer,” the statement said.
Jose K Mani of the Congress said that the provision of speed governing system shall be made compulsory since most of the road accidents happen because of speeding on National Highways and expressways.
BJP’s Harish Chandra Meena, member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport and former DGP of Rajasthan, said that before thinking about road safety, “we need to define the road user since on road we can see all the marriage processions, demonstrations, kiosks, dhabas, domestic animals and bullock carts, so who’s safety we are looking for?”
MPs, both from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including Rangasayee Ramakrishna (BJP), NK Premchandran (RSP), Pradeep Bhattacharya (INC), Tiruchi Shiva (DMK) and La Ganesan (BJP) participated in round table discussions and raised several issues.
These included lowering the blood alcohol content (BHC) level for new drivers, setting up motor vehicle accident fund, grant of stage carriage permit, safety of children during commute and mandatory use of child restraint systems, the statement said.
“There was consensus that keeping in mind the fact that over 13 lakh people have been killed in road accidents in India in the past decade, this Bill with key provisions needs to be passed with strong measures.
“The Bill, introduced in the Parliament on August 9, 2016, by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, ambitiously aims to fill the gaps in the road safety legal framework in the country by amending the much older Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA),” the statement said.