Road Safety Bill

Road Transport and Safety Bill:

It is a Bill which aims to provide a framework for safer, faster, cost effective and inclusive movement of passengers and freight in the country thus enabling the mission of ‘Make in India’.
  • According to the Bill, a manufacturer can be ordered to recall a particular type of motor vehicle if a specified number of users complain about a defect that can cause harm to them, their passengers, or any other road users.
  • The Bill could not be introduced in the last session Parliament.
  • It is also to be noted that the Road safety Act falls in the purview of concurrent list and both state governments and the Centre have rights
Summary of difference with MVA, 1988
  • Motor Vehicle Act, 1988
    • Fine of Rs. 1000
    • Or Imprisonment of 3 months or both
    • The law does not mention “minor” it says “unauthorised person”
  • Road Transport and Safety Bill
    • The fine has been increased to Rs. 10,000
    • “Minor” will be considered as an unauthorised person
    • Vehicle will be impounded for 2 months if the offences has been repeated
    • Penalty points on repeat offenders will lose their license
    • Road contractors or companies will also incur penalties in not complying by road design standards, road construction and maintenance
    • Other things:
      • Unified Driver Licensing System
      • Unified Vehicle Registration System
      • Road Safety & Traffic Management
      • National Road Transport & Multimodal Coordination Authority
Highlights of the Bill:
  • 2 lakhs lives to be saved in first 5 years due to reduction in road traffic accident deaths
  • 4% GDP improvement on account of increased efficiency and safety of road transport sector
  • 10 lac Jobs to be created with increase in investment in the sector
  • The new Bill makes significant departures from the 1988 Motor Vehicle Act as it 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.
New proposed Agencies and systems:
  • The Bill 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 provides for the establishment of State Safety Authorities which shall act in accordance with the directions issued by the National Authority.
  • The Bill seeks to establish a unified driver licensing system in India which will be 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.
  • According to the Provisions of the Bill 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, 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 Bill also includes the setting up of a Highway Traffic Regulation and Protection Force (HTRPF).
Why are some against this Bill?
  • Due to some provisions in the proposed bill. They say that the proposed fines are too high.
  • According to provisions of the Bill, the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 will be scrapped and State RTOs will close. Instead, a Central authority will be created and private entities will issue and renew licences. This move is not being welcomed.
  • The provisions in the Bill are said to be against the principles of jurisprudence.
  • Some state governments allege that the bill encroaches upon the financial, legislative and administrative powers of state governments
Related Questions:
Countries that have had the most success in reducing the number of road crash deaths have achieved this by improving legislation, enforcement, and making roads and vehicles safer. Critically examine why has India failed in this regard.
Related Notes:



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