Centre plans to go ahead with Road Safety Bill

Centre plans to  go ahead with  Road Safety Bill

The Centre on Tuesday said it would go ahead with the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014, which proposes hefty fines for traffic violations, despite opposition from some states, including Karnataka.

Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who chaired National Road Safety Council and Transport Development Council meeting, attended by state transport ministers, told reporters that the new Bill would be sent to the Cabinet soon, and introduced in the winter session of Parliament.  

The Bill is aimed at reducing road accidents by 50 per cent over the next two years by heavily penalising traffic rule violations. India sees 5 lakh road accidents annually, with 1.5 lakh deaths—the highest in the world.

The Bill, drafted after adopting the best practices from several developed countries, has faced opposition from several states like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

The states allege that their revenue would go down with new Bill, and the Centre was trying encroach upon the states’ territories through these proposals.

The draft Bill also proposes and independent agency: the Motor Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India. 

The states, including Karnataka, have opposed this too, saying that they would lose the right to grant permission for stage carriers or contract carriers as a result of this.

The new Bill proposes steep penalties of up to Rs 3 lakh, and in certain circumstances a minimum seven-year imprisonment for the death of a child, for traffic violations.

It also proposes a fine of Rs 5 lakh per vehicle as well as imprisonment for faulty manufacturing design, besides cancellation of licence for rash and negligent driving.

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