India’s Road Transportation Sector Set For Overhaul As Rajya Sabha Passes Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In what could have a major impact on the road transportation sector of India, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday (31 July) passed the proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, reports Livemint.

The bill, which aims to address crucial issues such as road safety and reducing deaths due to road accident, was passed by the upper house by a majority vote of 108-13. It was passed with three government amendments and will now go to the Lok Sabha, which had already passed the bill last week.

The bill was first introduced to the Lok Sabha in August 2016 and was passed by the lower house in April 2017. However, thereafter the bill was repeatedly turned down by the Rajya Sabha where the ruling dispensation did not have a majority of its own. Later the bill dissolved with the dissolution of the sixteenth Lok Sabha.

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The proposed law has suggested higher penalties for road offences such drunk driving (Rs 10,000), over-speeding (minimum Rs 1,000), driving without a license (Rs 5,000) and not giving pass to an emergency vehicle (Rs 10,000) among others.

Besides, the bill also provides for a National Road Safety Board to be created by the Centre through a notification. A provision wherein the road contractors will be responsible for the conditions of the road, has also been introduced in the bill.

The bill also protects a Good Samaritan, a person who help road accident victims, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such person.

Among other things, the bill also provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.

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