The Cabinet on Friday approved amendments in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 9, 2016 and was referred to Departmental Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, headed by Mukul Roy.
The Cabinet has endorsed nearly all the suggestions made by the Standing committee, Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.The bill is likely to be tabled in Parliament next week, the minister said.
The Motor Vehicles Act 1989 is a 30-year-old instrument which had not kept pace with the change of dynamics of road transport and information technology.
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The bill proposes major amendments to the three-decade old Act that has outlived its utility on several fronts.
The proposed law specifically targets traffic offenders with stringent penal provisions. It has identified priority areas for improving road safety.
Stricter penalties are proposed for high-risk offences such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as use of seat belt, helmets).
The bill also provides for facilitating delivery of services to citizens and transporters. It proposes Aadhar-based verification for grant of online services including learner’s licence. This would ensure the integrity of the online services and also stop creation of duplicate licences.
The bill aims to provide for maximum governance with minimum Government. This would help in reducing the harassment faced by stakeholders at RTO offices. A national data base of vehicles and driving licences would help in safety and security and avoid malpractices.
Road safety is a major thrust area for the cause of public health. Nearly 1.5 lakh Indians lost their lives in road accidents last year.