Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill tabled in Lok Sabha

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari introduced the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Lok Sabha.

The much talked bill that proposes hefty penalties for violating traffic rules to curb road accidents was met with protests from the Opposition which said copies of the bill were not circulated to them in advance, as per practice.

The opposition urged Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not to allow Gadkari to introduce the Amendment Bill suggesting it will set a “bad precedent”. But she overruled their objections, noting that Gadkari was only tabling it and discussion would occur later.

Gadkari contended that road safety was not only his but also the responsibility of other members and said the bill’s early passage in Lok Sabha. Hence, it was necessary so that it could be moved to the Rajya Sabha for passage during the ongoing session, which ends on Friday.

Adding further, he said, “I am ready to accept your suggestions. More lives could be lost if a lot of time passes before it is passed.”

Making a strong plea, Gadkari cited huge number of road accidents which claimed over 1.5 lakh lives annually, as he urged the members to support the introduction of the bill. The bill has been pending for over a year according to the minister and incorporates suggestions of 18 transport ministers of various states belonging to different political parties and called for its quick passage.

The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 proposes hefty penalties for violation of traffic norms including up to 10,000 fine for drunken driving and 2 lakh compensation for hit-and-run cases. The bill also has provision of up to 10 lakh compensation in case of road fatality.

The bill includes penalties in the range of 1000-4000 for over-speeding. According to the bill, driving without insurance will be punishable with 2,000 fine and/or three- month imprisonment, while driving a two-wheeler without helmet will attract 2,000 fine and 3-month suspension of license. The provisions also include that guardian/owner will be deemed to be guilty in case of road offense by juveniles while registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.