New Delhi: Global road safety body IRF Tuesday urged the government to ensure the passage of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill in the upcoming session of Parliament.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, was introduced in the Upper House in April 2017, but was referred to a select panel. After taking into account the panel's recommendation, the bill was re-introduced in Rajya Sabha but is pending there.
The international body working for better and safer roads worldwide has urged the government to ensure the passage of the Bill in the upcoming session of the current parliament, without including the clauses opposed in the Bill by some states and organisations in the country.
"We urge the parliamentarians to pass the Bill in the coming session of the parliament without amending the clauses opposed in the Bill. The passage of the Bill will help close major gaps in the legislative framework that governs road safety in the country," IRF Chairman K K Kapila said.
Given that Indian roads witness over 5 lakh accidents per annum resulting in about 1.5 lakh fatalities, the Bill is an important step towards strengthening the legal framework for improving road safety in India, the Geneva-based road safety body International Road federation (IRF) said.
India is a signatory to the United Nation's Brasilia Declaration with the target of reducing road fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020.
The Bill seeks to amend the 30-year-old Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and aims to drastically improve road safety in the country monitored by the proposed National Road Safety Board.
It also proposes to increase penalties for several traffic offences, ensure protection of Good Samaritans and aims to bring about a unified license system.
"There are 91 clauses in the Bill, out of which only a few clauses are being opposed by several states and associations and these require more clarification and discussion. Therefore, at least 95 per cent of the bill has been accepted by all. The duly amended Bill should be passed in the coming session of the Rajya Sabha," Kapila added.
The proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act in the Rajya Sabha, were opposed by the opposition parties including the Congress, saying it would help corporates and dilute powers of state governments.
The debate on the bill has remained inconclusive in the Upper House. The bill proposes hefty penalties for various offences pertaining to the road transport sector.