Ensure enactment of road safety law without delay: Parliament panel

New Delhi, May 15: Explosive growth in India's transport sector calls for a new legislation in tune with the country's changing needs, a parliamentary panel has said, asking the government to ensure its enactment without any further delay.

The report, tabled in Parliament last week, said though the subject falls under concurrent list, any "inordinate" delay can be avoided.


The report comes at a time when after failing to push new road safety bill in Parliament due to opposition from the states, the Centre constituted a group of ministers (GoM) for framing stricter traffic rules.

"An assurance ... regarding 'Enactment of New Road Transport Act' is yet to be fulfilled despite lapse of more than 6 years against the prescribed period of 3 months for the purpose."

"There is an imperative need for enacting a contemporary Road Transport Act in tune with the changing need arising out of explosive growth in the road transport sector in the country," the committee on Government Assurances, chaired by parliamentarian Ramesh Pokhriyal said.

It said any inordinate delay can be avoided with proper planning and meticulous compliance with the due procedures which are apparently found wanting in this case.

The UPA government in September, 2009 had constituted a committee headed by S Sunder and based on its recommendations, a revised bill was drafted and sent to parliamentary committee after approval from the cabinet.

"As things were delayed at every stage, the bill got lapsed with the term of the last Lok Sabha," the committee said. It urged the present government to introduce the requisite bill without any delay. Last month, the GoM, formed by the Centre and headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan, had unanimously agreed to framing strict penalties for offences like driving by minors, crossing speed limits, drunk driving, talking over phone while driving and jumping traffic lights.

The group in its recommendations submitted to Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has also suggested online learning licences henceforth, besides uniform forms for transport issues and extending the timeframe for driving licences.

The next meeting of the GoM would be held in Bengaluru on May 20 followed by a meeting to finalise proposals on June 10.

Gadkari has said once the recommendations are finalised they will be sent to the Cabinet for approval and subsequently be introduced in Parliament for passage.

The GoM also unanimously agreed on a proposal that entailed spot registration of vehicles at dealers point besides simplification of forms, Khan said. Also, it recommended fitting all public vehicles with GPS, camera, broad band and other such features without which vehicles would not be allowed for registration.


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