The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 108 votes in its favour and 13 against. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 aims to infuse more discipline on roads by tightening rules and increasing penalities. The bill, which seeks to weed out corruption, improve road safety and usher in use of technology to regulate traffic, has already been passed by the Lok Sabha last week. The bill was passed by a voice vote rejecting several amendments moved by the Opposition.
It also brings a sea change in how Indian roads and vehicular transportation are governed. Stating that maximum road accidents in the world occur in India, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari noted that annually about five lakh road accidents take place in the country, in which there are 1.5 lakh deaths and 65 per cent of them are youth.
Therefore, road safety has been given priority in the bill to curb the number of road accidents. Tamil Nadu government has brought down the number of road accidents by 29 per cent and the Centre wants to implement that model across the country, he said.
Since 40 per cent road accidents take place on highways, the government has decided to identify the "blackspots" for which Rs 14,000 crore will be spent. The government has submitted a proposal to the ADB Bank seeking funds for the project, he added.
Urging the members to pass the bill, the Minister said it has been "pending for long" and that it is not a "political subject".
The law is required to curb road accidents and this amendment bill will help bring down the number of road accidents by 50 per cent, he said. The Minister also praised the southern states for operating transporation corporations effectively unlike in northern states.