Rajya Sabha has passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 today with 108 ‘yes’ votes and 13 ‘no’ votes. Lok Sabha already cleared it on 23rd July.
Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has assured the parliamentarians that Centre does not intend to encroach in any way on the state government powers. The Bill seeks to improve road safety, raise penalties for traffic violations, curb RTO corruption and include other measures to transform the transport sector.
The Centre will develop a system for cashless treatment of road accident victims during the golden hour – time period of the first hour after a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing medical care. Besides, the amendment also protects from legal hassles and hence encourages Good Samaritans who rescue accident victims.
The Bill empowers the Centre to frame guidelines for cab aggregators and make them more compliant.
Guardians of juveniles driving cars without license can be heavily fined and the vehicle seized. It also provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification. The proposed law has suggested higher penalty for offences such as driving without a license, speeding, dangerous driving, drunk driving and for vehicles plying without a permit. Those who do not give way to an ambulance or fire brigade may soon have to face a hefty fine of as much as Rs. 10,000 or/and imprisonment up to six months.
The Bill was first passed two years ago in Lok Sabha, but lapsed when their term ended without Rajya Sabha passing the same.
The amendment awaits President’s assent for an Official Gazette notification, following which it will come into force.
— India Legal Bureau