The Road To Safety: The Journey For Better Road Safety Legislation In India
As India continues to wait for the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill to be passed, here is a look back at the long-winded journey to improve the country's road safety legislation
Timeline of The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill
- June 3, 2014 | Former Minister of Rural Development of India Gopinath Munde dies in a road accident after his car is hit by an overspeeding taxi.
In its aftermath, the government makes a commitment to bring in stronger road safety regulations.
Read: India’s Need For Speed Is The Biggest Impediment To Road Safety
- June 5, 2014 | Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announces that a new bill will be drafted to replace the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
- September 13, 2014 | The first draft of the Road Transport and Safety Bill is released to the public.
The government invites the states, experts and public to express their views.
Provisions in the Draft Bill cover higher penalties, the setting up of a national-level authority for road safety, two-tier system for transport vehicle permits, and a unified licencing and registry system.
Read: Would Higher Traffic Fines Lead To Safer Driving In India?
- 2014 – 2015 | Several drafts of the Road Transport and Safety Bill are released, diluting the original provisions.
States like Tamil Nadu vehemently oppose the Bill, accuse the central government of trying to encroach on the financial, legislative and administrative powers of the states.
Read: Why India Needed The Road Transport And Safety Bill
- April 2015 | National and state-level transport unions and corporations call strikes to protest the bill.
They particularly oppose what the two-tier permit system, hefty fines and stricter checks for vehicular health. They claim that the penalties were too steep and would lead to a loss of livelihood.
- April 29, 2016 | Group of Ministers Transport Ministers of the States recommends amending the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
Over a year of making no real headway on the Road Transport and Safety Draft Bill pushes the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to constitute a group of transport ministers from 18 states to address the issue of road safety.
The committee headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister, Yunis Khan, suggests that rather than replacing the Motor Vehicles Act, the government should amend it.
- June 13, 2016 | The Group of Ministers Transport Ministers submits its report on the changes that should be made to the Motor Vehicles Act.
- August 3, 2016 | The Cabinet approves the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Read: 10 Things To Know About The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016
- August 9, 2016 | Union Minister Nitin Gadkari introduces the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.
Read: How Effective Will The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill Be In Making Indian Roads Safer?
- August 26, 2016 | The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill is referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture for review.
- January 24, 2017 | After nearly 5 months, the Parliamentary Standing Committee finalises a report on the Bill.
- February 8, 2017 | The committee’s report is presented in the Rajya Sabha.
Read: Treat Drink Driving As Culpable Homicide: Parliamentary Standing Committee