Motor vehicles Amendment Bill
designed to help corporates, silent on road safety: Hari Prasad
UNI, July 23, 2018
New Delhi, July 23 (UNI) The Congress on Monday said that the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2017 was silent on the issue of road safety and was designed to help the corporates.
Initiating a debate on the Bill, that seeks to amend the Motor vehicles Act, 1988, Mr B K Hariprasad of the Congress, who was a member of the Rajya Sabha select committee that looked into the Bill, said the Bill is silent on road safety clauses.
‘’Of the 92 clauses on the Bill, only three refer to road safety. Also, it seems that the Bill is aimed at helping the corporate sector.
For example the authority of RTO is being diluted. Only an RTO can register a vehicle, but now a dealer can register a vehicle. A registration in the RTO would charge upto Rs 500. But a dealer would charge as much as Rs 9000 to Rs 15,000. All the powers have been given to dealers,’’he said.
He said that the penalties under the Bill are so high that a person may have to sell his vehicle to pay it.
‘’Only persons owning small cars will be penalized by the authorities while the owners of big cars will go scot free,’’he said.
He said that as a member of the select committee, he suggested many changes in the Bill but failed to convince the chairman and the transport minister.
Supporting the Bill, Mr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of the BJP said that the select committee which looked into the Bill consulted several stakeholders.
‘’As the head of Select Committee I ensured that we took inputs from many stakeholders. We held consultations with drivers. We even took traffic police into confidence before drafting the Bil,’’he said.
He said that though the minister appearing before the select committee has not been a norm, the Transport minister Nitin Gadkari appeared before the committee and allayed the various doubts and apprehensions of the members of the select committee.
He said that the Bill seeks to address the concerns of road safety as the number of deaths due to road accidents has sharply increased over the years which is a matter of concern.
‘’Over 1,70,000 people have lost their lives in road accidents in 2014. The number is increasing every year. Hence, we have included road safety in the amendments,’’he said.
He said that the Bill increases drivers licence from three years to five years.
‘’The Bill also envisages training to drivers.. Seat belts have been made mandatory. There are penalising clause for motorists who don't give way to ambulances,’’he said.
He said that the Bill was better than previous ones.
‘’There is always room at the top. But this Bill is better than the previous ones,’’ he said.
Mr. Bishambar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi party said government should check the quality of the helmets.
The Bill was moved for consideration of the House by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh Mandaviya.
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