The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to amend the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. Speaker Om Birla declared the Bill passed based on a voice vote in the house. Several amendments moved by opposition members were also rejected by a voice vote.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 15 by Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. The new act will provide for higher penalties for violations and protection of good samaritans, among other provisions.
The bill was passed in the previous Lok Sabha but could not get approval from the Rajya Sabha.
It seeks to increase penalties for violations, facilitate grant of online learning licence, simplified provisions for insurance to provide expeditious help to accident victims and their families, and protection of good samaritans.
As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, the period for renewal of transport licence would be increased to five years from three years and enable licensing authority to grant licence to differently-abled persons.
Another provision proposed is to raise the time limit for renewal of driving licence from one month to one year before and after the expiry date.
The provisions in the legislation are not binding on states and it is up to them to implement it, the minister said.
According to Gadkari, around 30 per cent of driving licences in the country are bogus. About 1.5 lakh people die and 5 lakh people get injured in road accidents every year, he added.
While several members cutting across party lines supported safety and traffic violation aspects of the Bill, they at the same time accused the Centre of trying to take away state's powers with certain provisions of the draft law.