June 5, 2014 6:34:17 pm
India’s Motor Vehicle Bill will be re-drafted within a month in line with advanced international practices to enhance road safety, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
His comments come within days of former Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde’s death in a road accident in the national capital.
The new bill is likely to include measures such as installing CCTV cameras at all traffic signals, redesigning of heavy vehicles and centralising data to check misuse of driving licences.
“In a month’s time we will re-draft the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill in sync with six advanced nations – USA, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany and the UK, and thereafter will introduce it in Parliament,” Gadkari said.
The UK has already consented to cooperate in this area and “I will be meeting the UK High Commissioner in a day or two in this regard”, he said.
Stressing upon the need to overhaul the entire traffic network through advanced IT systems, Gadkari told reporters here that the previous Bill was mainly focused on “man-made implementation” which “I think is not practical” in present times.
The draft-Bill will be placed before the National Road Safety Council in a month where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited, he said, adding that stakeholders’ suggestions would be incorporated in the Bill.
The existing Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which had been introduced and passed in the Rajya Sabha in May 2012, proposes hefty penalty for traffic rule violations and drunken driving.
Earlier in the day Gadkari chaired a high-level meeting with the ministry officials, Delhi Police and officials of other departments in the wake of Munde’s death on June 3.
Gadkari said that once the new laws are implemented, they will drastically reduce the number of road deaths — 1.38 lakh per annum.
India reported 4.9 lakh road accidents in 2013 with a death toll of 1.38 lakh. As many as 5.09 lakh persons were injured in road accidents during the year.
Gadkari said: “Black spots for accidents will be identified across the nation in coordination with state governments and other stakeholders.
“People don’t respect law here. Henceforth with the new Act, advanced CCTV cameras would be installed at all traffic signals and anyone violating the law will be issued challan in
the next 24-hours.”
The minister said all manufacturers of heavy vehicles like trucks will be asked to make certain changes in the design of the vehicles to incorporate safety requirements.
Gadkari said data for driving licenses will be centralised to check misuse as often one person is found in possession of several licences.
Necessary amendments in two more Acts governing transport sector – Carriage by Roads Act and Road Transport Corporation Act – will be made, he said.
In six months time, public transport vehicles plying in all the cities with over 10-lakh population will be fitted with advanced GPS tracking system in view of safety of women
The current bill, which had been passed by Rajya Sabha in May 2012, proposes hefty penalty for traffic rule violations including drunken driving.
It provided hefty penalties – almost 10 times more than what traffic violators pay now – for offences such as over speeding and drunken driving.
The Bill seeks to raise compensation for death resulting from a hit and run accident to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 for the injured in such incidents.
Framed in 1988, several provisions of the bill -especially those related to penalties for violations – have not been found to be effective in checking road accidents. The last time the MV Act was amended was in 2001.
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