Shri Gadkari says the Bill will implement an Efﬁcient, Secure and Corruption Free Transport System in the Country passed Motor Vehicles or Transport Bill.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha now. Addressing on the event Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSME acknowledged the Members of the House and stated that this was a thing of great peace for him.
He said the much-needed alterations will improve roadway safety, facilitate citizens in their dealings with transport authorities, increase country transport, public transport and last-mile connectivity through automation, computerization and online services.
The Minister restated that the Bill would, in no way, encroach upon the powers and authorities of the states.
He said the Bill would rather approve the states.
He added that the Bill will implement an efﬁcient, safe and corruption-free transport system in the country.
The Bill has been passed with three Government amendments and will need to go back to Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha had already legislated the Bill on the 23 of July 2019.
The Motor Vehicles or Transport or Road safety (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is based on the recommendations of the Group of Transport Ministers (GoM) of States constituted by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to address the problem of road safety and to develop the facilitation of the citizens while dealing with transport departments.
The GoM was headed by Shri. Yoonus Khan, the then Transport Minister of Rajasthan, and had 18 State Transport Ministers from different political parties as members.
Based on recommendations of the GoM and other pressing requirements, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways organised the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016.
This, along with amendments, was passed by Lok Sabha on 10th April 2017. The Bill as passed by Lok Sabha was introduced in Rajya Sabha and was referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha on 08.08.2017. The Select Committee presented its report to the Parliament on 22 December 2017.
The Bill was pending in the Rajya Sabha and declined with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The amendments in the Bill essentially focus on problems relating to improving road safety, citizens facilitation while dealing with the transport department, increasing rural, transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services.
Some of the major areas of the amendment are as follows:
In the area of road safety, the Bill proposes to raise Punishments to act as a restraint against trafﬁc violations. More stringent provisions are being introduced in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without a licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. More stringent provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of infringements. Fine regarding motor vehicles is to be raised by 10 % each year.
Recall of Transportations
The Bill admits the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a deficiency in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users. The manufacturer of the assembled vehicle will be required to:
(i) compensate the buyers for the full damage of the vehicle, or
(ii) return the defective vehicle with different vehicle with similar or better speciﬁcations.
The Bill mandates automatic ﬁtness measurement for vehicles. This would decrease bribery within the transport department while developing the roadworthiness of the vehicle. The fine has been presented for deliberate breach of safety environmental guidance as well as bodybuilders and spare part suppliers. The process for testing and certiﬁcation for automobiles is proposed to be regulated more effectively. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes. The Bill also provides for a compulsory recall of defective vehicles and power to examine irregularities of vehicle companies.
Road Safety Board
The Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notiﬁcation. The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and trafﬁc management including standards of motor vehicles, registration and licensing of vehicles, standards for road safety, and promotion of new vehicle technology.
Assurance of Good Samaritan
To help road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill. The Bill deﬁnes a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.
Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour
The Bill provides for a scheme for the cashless method of road accident victims during the golden hour.
The Bill has included the driver’s attendant in 3 Party insurance. There will be a 10-time improvement in insurance compensation, from Rs 50, 000 to Rs 5 lakh. The claim process has been simpliﬁed. Insurance ﬁrms have to pay claims within a month if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation. The Bill also increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees in case of death, and from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000 in case of grievous affliction.
Motor Vehicle Accident Fund
The Bill requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. It will be utilised for: treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme, compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident, compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government. This Fund will be credited through: payment of a nature notiﬁed by the central government, a grant or loan made by the central government, balance of the Solatium Fund (existing fund under the Act to provide compensation for hit and run accidents), or any other source as prescribed the central government.
Improving Services using e-Governance
Improving the delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance is one of the major focuses
of this Bill. This includes
Provision for online driving licenses.
The Bill provides for online Learners Licence with mandatory online identity veriﬁcation Driving test will be computerized to avoid fake D.L. The Bill will bring transparency in RTO ofﬁces. Commercial licenses will be valid up to ﬁve instead of three years. Application for renewal can be made one year before or after licence lapses. Driver Training Schools will be opened so that more efﬁcient drivers may be available.
Process of Vehicle Registration
To improve the registration process for new vehicles, registration at the end of the dealer is being enabled and restrictions have been imposed on temporary registration. The Minister has however said that state transport departments can inspect the vehicles at dealers end.
To bring a harmony of the registration and licensing process, it is proposed to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through “Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms. This will facilitate the uniformity of the process across the country.
The driving training process has been strengthened enabling faster issuance of transport licenses. This will help in reducing the shortage of commercial drivers in the country. More and more drivers training schools and vehicle ﬁtness centres will be opened. To facilitate transport solutions for Divyang, the bottlenecks have been removed in respect of grant of driving licenses as well as alterations in the vehicles to make it ﬁt for their use.
Improvements in the Transportation System
Development of an Integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last-mile connectivity, rural transport etc.
The Bill deﬁnes aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators. At present, there are no rules in many states for regulating aggregators, taxis etc
Reforms in Driving Licences
The Bill provides for online Learners Licence. Provision of online identity veriﬁcation Aadhar Card has been made mandatory for making Driving Licences and driving test of the applicant will be computerized to avoid fake D.L. The Bill will bring transparency in RTO ofﬁces. Commercial licenses will be valid up to ﬁve instead of three years. Application for renewal can be made one year before or after licence lapses. Driver Training Schools will be opened so that more efﬁcient driver may be available.
Simpliﬁcation in the rule of vehicle registration
The vehicle owners may register their vehicle anywhere in the state and process of registration will be done by dealers. Differently abled persons will get facilities for registration of vehicles. Checking of ﬁtness of vehicles will be computerised and laws for the scrapping of an old vehicle. Now since the National Register is in place, transfer of the vehicle from one city to another will be easier and the stolen vehicles will not get registered.
Reformations in the Transportation System
Development of an Integrated Transport System will be possible from the National Transportation Policy. This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last-mile connectivity, rural transport etc. The Bill provides guidelines for Aggregators. At present, there are no rules in many states for regulating aggregators, taxis etc.
Recall of vehicles: The Bill allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users. The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to: (i) reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or (ii) replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better speciﬁcations.
National Transportation Policy:
The central government may develop a National Transportation Policy, in consultation with state governments. The Policy will: (i) establish a planning framework for road transport, (ii) develop a framework for the grant of permits, and (iii) specify priorities for the transport system, among other things.
Offences and penalties:
The Bill increases penalties for several offences under the Act. For
example, the maximum penalty for driving under the inﬂuence of alcohol or drugs has been
increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. If a vehicle manufacturer fails to comply with motor
vehicle standards, the penalty will be a ﬁne of up to Rs 100 crore, or imprisonment of up to one
year, or both. If a contractor fails to comply with road design standards, the penalty will be a ﬁne
of up to one lakh rupees. The central government may increase ﬁnes mentioned under the Act
every year by up to 10%.
Bill deﬁnes aggregators as digital agents or business places which can be used by travellers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). These aggregators will be issued licenses by state Further, they must comply with the Information Technology Act, 2000.