Council passes Road Safety Authority Bill

The Karnataka State Road Safety Authority Bill, 2017, which seeks to curb accidents by making roads safer was passed in the Council on Thursday.

The Bill proposes setting up of the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority headed by the chief secretary to formulate policies, prescribe and enforce standards, implement road safety awareness programmes among others. To advise this panel, the Bill proposes a Karnataka State Road Safety Council headed by the transport minister.

"The Authority will get nearly Rs 180 crore drawn from transport cess, smart card fees and fines to implement road safety measures," Transport Minister H M Revanna said after tabling the Bill. "Karnataka stands fourth in India in the number of accidents, so it's important to take steps towards road safety."

The BJP and the JD(S) members suggested several changes to the Bill such as removing the chief secretary as the head of the Authority and inclusion of civil society groups. BJP member Tara Anuradha even suggested installation of mobile phone jammers on highways "so that drivers don't use phones while driving."

One-time cess

A one-time cess of up to Rs 1,000 will be levied during registration of new vehicles, according to the Bill. Different rates will be levied for different classes of motor vehicles. The cess collected will go to the Karnataka Road Safety Fund, which will be used by the Road Safety Authority.

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