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Q. Need of amendment in motor vehicle act: Discuss the urgent need to pass the amendment bill of motor vehicles to improve road safety.
Apr 22, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2 and 3

Ans :

Introduction-

Road safety is a very critical issue for India as it tops in the global chart of road fatalities and injuries. According to some report, in 2015 about 1.3 million road fatalities and 5,00,279 injuries were reported across the world. Of the 1.3 million fatalities, India alone accounts about 1,46,133 deaths in that year. The issue of road safety is a serious matter of concern for policy makers in India. Hence there is an urgent need to pass the proposed amendment of motor vehicle bill, which raises penalties for violations, and introduces measures for improving road safety.

Importance of the bill-

  • The proposed amendment bill focuses on safety of children during commute, protection of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and children, and provision of special lanes for non-motorised transport like bicycles.
  • The bill wants to establish the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety will reduce the role of human frailties, including corruption to large extent.
  • Similarly it intends to create a unified driver licensing and vehicle registration system that yields a national database, higher penalties for violations, higher compensation for hit-and-run cases and treating offences by juveniles as a separate category will augment the road safety.
  • The bill also has provision for vehicle recall, which will make vehicle manufactures more accountable while ensuring and improving the safety standards of vehicle.
  • The more important aspect of the bill is to incorporate the Good Samaritan guidelines gives legal backing to protection from civil and criminal liability to those who come to the aid of road accident victims. 
  • Further proposed amendments to provide for scientific investigation of accidents and data collection, penalties for faulty road design and engineering and mandatory training for all drivers would be in order.

What can be done-?

  • Though the bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, but Rajya Sabha was unable to take up the Bill and the budget session has been already adjourned. Hence central government instead of waiting till monsoon session, it is better to promulgate ordinance, considering the huge number of fatalities. 
  • Similarly once it becomes law, both central and state governments should adopt strict mechanism for effective implementation of the law, so that issue of road safety can be ensured. 

Conclusion-

Since last few years, India has witnessed huge number of fatalities due to road accidents. To address this issue central government has initiated the process to amend the motor vehicle bill which intended to tighten the law to improve road safety, but which is currently pending in Rajya Sabha. Hence instead of waiting till next session government should come up with ordinances, so that this issue can be addressed as soon as possible.

 


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