Nitin Gadkari seeks support from all parties for motor bill

New Delhi : Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today sought cooperation from all political parties for the crucial Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 which was introduced in Parliament today.

“I have sought cooperation from all opposition parties. Everyday 500 people are dying. If we do not amend our laws we would not be able to save lives of people. I have appealed all political parties to approve it in the current session only,” Gadkari said on the sidelines of an event here today.

“TV channels and newspapers are full of accident news. Such magnitude is not killed in any war,” The Road, Transport and Highways Minister said.

Gadkari said he was hopeful of getting support from political parties cutting across party lines as India accounted for one of the highest number of accidents globally at 5 lakh per annum in which 1.5 lakh people are killed.

“The Bill was pending for one year. A ministerial panel of 18 transport ministers from states, headed by Rajasthan Minister Yunoos Khan has given recommendations for it and Congress, NCP, Trinamool College, DMK all transport ministers were there. We have accepted their suggestions which are in public interest,” the minister said.

He said that instead of sending the bill to joint selection committee, he has requested members to hold discussion and pass it because “priority is to save lives.”

Earlier while introducing the bill in the Lok Sabha, the minister contended that road safety was not only his but also the responsibility of other members and said the bill’s early passage in the Lok Sabha was necessary so that it could be moved to the Rajya Sabha for passage during the ongoing session, which ends on Friday.

“I am ready to accept your suggestions. More lives could be lost if a lot of time passes before it is passed,” he said.

The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 proposes hefty penalties for violation of traffic norms including up to Rs 10,000 fine for drunken driving and Rs 2 lakh compensation for hit-and-run cases. The bill also has provision of up to Rs 10 lakh compensation in case of road fatality.

The bill includes penalties in the range of Rs 1000-4000 for over-speeding. According to the bill, driving without insurance will be punishable with Rs 2,000 fine and/or three- month imprisonment, while driving a two-wheeler without helmet will attract Rs 2,000 fine and 3-month suspension of license.

The provisions also include that guardian/owner will be deemed to be guilty in case of road offense by juveniles while registration of the vehicle will be canceled.