'Treat drunken driving deaths as culpable homicide'

Panel suggests amendment to Motor Vehicles Act

'Treat drunken driving deaths as culpable homicide'

 Batting for stringent penalty for traffic rule violators, a Parliamentary panel has suggested amending the law to include deaths due to drunken driving as culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Mukul Roy, in its report on ‘Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, said international standard testing norms can be prescribed for breathalysers and put in other parameters to ascertain drunkenness.

The report, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, said that a clause should be added in the bill to give effect to increase the fine at 10% every year through executive orders. The Bill proposed to revise the fines this time after a gap of almost 30 years as the government wanted to reduce road accidents, recorded nearly five lakh per year, to half by 2020.

The panel recommended that a penalty provision may be inserted in the bill to hold road contractors and concessionaires accountable for faulty design, construction, and maintenance of roads.

Terming that RTOs are “den of corruption”, the committee recommended that registration of new vehicles at dealers point may be made optional to the states depending on the states’ specific requirements.

Strict guidelines

The panel also suggested strict guidelines for the functioning of vehicle dealers
On the proposal for producing vehicle before the registering authority, the committee recommended that it be not   made mandatory.  This, however, may be implemented in such a way that the regional and local needs are effectively addressed and the dealers may not be able to manipulate the system or vehicle configuration to suit their needs, it suggested.

The panel also favoured restricting plying of non-motorised vehicles from national highways and major roads in cities.

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