Concerned over delay in introduction of Road Transport and Safety Bill is the Parliament, a parliamentary standing committee said that even existing laws remain till today merely on paper without being enforced and nexus between those having vested interest and the enforcement agencies are mainly responsible for this state of affairs.
The Department related parliamentary standing committee in its action taken report of the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways recommended that the proposed legislation may be brought before the Parliament at the earliest.
“The Committee feels that another major impediment for road safety in the country is the non-enforcement of road safety Rules. Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways appears to be helpless because it has no enforcement powers,” it said in its report.
The committee headed by Rajya Sabha member Kanwar Deep Singh observed that the multiplicity of agencies under central government as well as state s is another problem in this regard.
“Central Motor Vehicle Rules, Carriage by Road Rules remain till today merely on paper without t being enforced actually. Pulls and pressures from obvious quarters having vested interest in not enforcing these rules/regulations and nexus with the enforcement agencies are mainly responsible for this state of affairs. The dynamics behind is very well known but nothing could be done so far in breaking this deep entrenched nexus,” it said.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had at some public forum also blamed some vested interests for holding up introduction of road safety bill designed to bring in greater transparency and eradicate corruption by computerizing the entire system.
The committee told the ministry that two important legislations for strengthening road safety -- amendments to Central Motor Vehicles Act for enhancement of penalties for violations of road safety rules and a Bill to create National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, have not been introduced in the Houses of Parliament till date for reasons better known to the Ministry.
“The Committee notes the reply and hopes that both the legislations will see the light of the day at the earliest so that the Rules relating to road safety in the country are strengthened,” it added.
The ministry in its reply said that the recommendations of the committee have been noted for consideration of the Government.
The bill proposes steep penalties of up to Rs 3 lakh along with a minimum 7-year imprisonment for death of a child in certain circumstances besides huge fines for driving violations. It aims at bringing down fatalities in road accidents by 2 lakh in the first five years. It also calls for a fine of Rs 5 lakh per vehicle and an imprisonment for faulty manufacturing design.
Some of the states are opposing the Bill saying that the provisions in it are against the administrative and financial rights of the state. It incorporates the global best practices and provides for the creation of a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Authority to look after all issues related to vehicle regulation and road safety.