The Bill proposes a National Transportation Policy; seeks to hold guardians responsible for accidents by juveniles.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari tabled the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha on July 15.
The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Bill, 1988 to address the issues of third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators and road safety.
The Bill was opposed by TMC and Congress for taking away decision making power from the states.
"It takes away power of states to provide rural connectivity as a social service instead of profitable routes for operation of such services. This will put the people in rural areas at a disadvantage as private operators refuse to cater to their needs because of low profits," said TMC MP Sougata Roy.
Gadkari responded by saying that states may or may not implement this legislation as per their will and the Centre does not want to take away the right of the states.
The Bill proposes the development of a National Transportation Policy by the Centre to set up guidelines for transportation of goods and passengers.
It seeks to simplify the third party insurance for motor vehicles. It empowers the Centre to prescribe minimum premium and corresponding liability of insurer for such policy.
The compensation to accident victims has been raised to five lakh rupees in case of death and 2.5 lakh rupees in case of grevious injury.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to increase the time limit for renewal of driving licence from one month to one year before and after the date.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra raised objection over this amendment as it would be detrimental to road safety. "People with expired licence will be allowed to drive around with an expired licence for one whole year which could be a danger to others," she said.
The bill has been amended to make the guardian or owner liable in case of offence by a juvenile. The guardian or owner of the motor vehicle will also be held responsible and shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with a fine of twenty-five thousand rupees. In case the juvenile has a learner's licence, the guardian or owner will not be held responsible.
Gadkari urged members of the Lok Sabha to pass the Bill to save lakhs of lives lost due to road accidents every year. More than 5 lakh people get injured in road accidents every year, he said.He admitted that his department had failed to pass the bill in the last five years and as a result the number of road accidents has reduced only by 3-4 percent in India.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months at 289. Use code FREEDOM.