Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday expressed confidence that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill will cause a decline in accidents. “This is not only a Motor Vehicle Act, but also a road safety bill. I believe it will cause a decline in accidents, the passing of this bill is a tribute to those who lost their lives in accidents”, he said while talking to reporters after the Bill was approved by Rajya Sabha. “Five lakh accidents happen in our country causing 1.5 lakh deaths, every year. We are number one in accidents in the world. Now, we have got the chance to correct this”, he added.
Earlier in the day, Parliament approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to impose strict penalties on violation of traffic rules and address the dire state of road safety in the country.
The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha after a division sought by CPI-M’s E Kareem was negated. The government easily sailed through the vote with 108 members in its favour while 13 voted against it. Earlier, all the amendments moved by the opposition members were negatived by the voice vote.
Gadkari asserted that the Bill was a step ahead in the direction of road safety and the number of accidents can be reduced to half after it becomes an Act. “The government has no intention, directly or indirectly to encroach upon the rights of the states. We are not taking any of the rights of the states. We are modernizing the law to improve the traffic system”, he said replying to the discussion by members on the Bill.
The Bill proposes to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and also proposes the removal of the requirement for minimum educational qualification as long as the applicant holds a certificate from a driver training school or establishment.