Published On: Fri, Feb 6th, 2015

Road Transport and Safety Bill not to Encroach Upon States Rights, Assures Nitin Gadkari

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10644388_10152629243818550_2346024803399468761_oNew Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari assured that the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014/15 does not intend to encroach upon the rights of the states. He was speaking at the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament attached to his Ministry here today. The Minister said the vision of the Bill is to provide a framework for safer, faster, cost-effective and inclusive movement of passengers and freight in the country. The Minister said the Bill aims to ensure effective, timely and sustainable prevention of those road practices which are detrimental to public health and road safety. As road crashes cause a loss of 3 percent to GDP annually, the issue demanded an immediate solution and the Bill is a firm step towards this, the Minister further added.

Underscoring the salient features of the Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014/15, Shri Nitin Gadkari said it makes significant departures from the 1988 Motor Vehicle Act as the new Bill includes safety in construction, design, maintenance and use of motor vehicles and roads as a major component. The Bill provides for more stringent penalties to offenders. A graded penalty point system would now act as a deterrent and improve traffic condition whereas electronic detection and centralized information of offences would facilitate to identify repeat-offenders, the Minister added.

He said the draft proposes to introduce an independent agency called the National Road Safety Authority of India, which will be an independent, legally empowered and accountable expert lead agency. It shall be accountable to the Parliament and Central Government. The new Bill also provides for the establishment of State Safety Authorities which shall act in accordance with the directions issued by the National Authority. Shri Gadkari informed that the Bill seeks to establish a unified driver licensing system in India which is transparent. Such a system shall facilitate any time anywhere licence application mechanism in the country and mitigate duplication of licences from various regional transport offices.

The Minister said that there will be a unified vehicle registration system to enable electronic and online submission of applications for registration at any registering authority leading to real time interchange of data relating to such an activity.On the safety issues, Shri Gadkari said the Bill envisages for enforcement of modern safety technologies. It also contains the provision for creation of a motor vehicle accident fund for immediate relief to the accident victim. It gives special emphasis on safety of school children and security of women.

The Members of the Parliament, present in the meeting, welcomed the Bill in its spirit while making suggestions to make it more effective. Some of the measures the members of the Committee suggested included retrofitting of cameras in public transport vehicles by the manufacturers, establishment of single level portal for seamless payment across the states, construction of sufficient number of underpasses, arrangement for proper electrification around accident prone areas, setting up trauma centres at designated places and taking height and not the age of a child into consideration for the front –seat limitation.

The Members of Parliament who attended the meeting included Shri Narendra Keshav Sawaikar, Shri Bheemrao Baswanthrao Patil, Shri Birendra Kumar Choudhary, Shri C.R. Chaudhary, Shri Dilip Patel, Dr. Kulamani Samal, Shri K. Prabhakar Reddy, Shri Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, Shri Mohammad Salim, Shri Natubhai Gomanbhai Patel, Smt. Neelam Sonkar, Shri Parvatagouda Chandanagouda Gaddigoudar, Shri Prathap Simha, Shri S. P. Muddahanumegowda, Shri Sisir Kumar Adhikari, Dr. Chandan Mitra and Shri P.Bhattacharya.

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