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Report No. 234

5.21 The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, to which the Bill was referred for examination and report on 17.05.2007, submitted to Parliament its 139th Report on the Bill on 28.04.2008. The following are some of the important observations/ recommendations of the Committee:

Para 13.2. "Clause 9 seeks."

Para 13.3. "The Committee notes that drunken driving is a major cause of road accidents. This malady needs to be dealt with a firm hand. The Committee got suggestions from various quarters to the effect that if a drunken driver commits an accident which results in the death of persons the former should be dealt under the provisions of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under the relevant section of IPC. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government may amend the necessary legislations to include the deaths due to drunken driving as culpable homicide not amounting to murder."

Para 13.4. "The Committee also recommends that if the drunken driver commits an accident his action should not be construed as mere 'negligence' rather it should be treated as a premeditated commitment of a crime and the drunken driver should be punishable under relevant provisions of IPC depending on the consequences of the accident."

Para 20.2. "Clause 27 seeks."

Para 20.3. "The Committee welcomes this amendment as installation of speed governors and fog lights are important safety requirements. The Committee hopes that this Clause once legislated should be implemented systematically and the violators of this provision should be punished heavily as over speeding is one of the main causes for the rising number of accidents on the roads."

Para 31.2. "Clause 50 seeks."

Para 31.3. "One of the stakeholders has suggested slab rates for over speeding since the danger increases manifold when the vehicle is driven at 90Km/ph or at 120 km/hr. Thus slab may be as follows:

20% more than spped limit

Rs. 500

50% more than speed limit

Rs. 1000

100% and beyond cancellation of licence and held under section 184 of Motor Vehicle Act."

Para 31.4. "The Committee is also of the view that to restrain dangerous driving which causes human and financial loss the above slab may be suitably formulated for every offence prescribed in the Motor Vehicle Act. The Committee also recommends that the slab may be revised annually in proportion to the rate of inflation and the clause may be modified accordingly."

Para 32.2. "Clause 53 seeks ... ."

Para 32.3. "The recommendations of the Committee against Clause 50 may be applied in this Clause also with necessary modifications."

Para 33.2. "Clause 54 seeks."

Para 33.3. "The Committee notes that the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, does not contain any provision or penalty related to the usage of mobile phones by the drivers while driving. However, through an executive order the Government prescribes the penalties for the use of mobile phones while driving. However, the executive order is silent on the following issues:-

- Should the case be booked under section 184 of the MVA?

- What does it mean 'while driving.- can one be booked while waiting on a signal?

- Can hands free-phones be used?

- Are two way radio sets allowed by taxi users and other paramilitary and police organizations?"

Para 33.4. "At present, the offence of usage of mobiles will be punishable under the category of dangerous driving vide Section Motor Vehicles Act. The Committee feels that the Motor Vehicles Act being a two decade old legislation could not have envisaged the usage of mobile phones and the gravity of the situation which causes large number of accidents. The Committee, therefore, recommends that a new Section should be entrusted specifically for the usage of mobile phones while driving."

Para 34.2. "Clause 55 seeks ... The Committee's recommendations against Clause 9 may be applied in case of this Clause also with necessary modifications."

Para 34.3. "It was submitted to the Committee by the representative of the Institute of Road Traffic Education that the breath alcohol tests conducted on drunken drivers proved that they were having alcohol level of 30 mg to 200mg and above in 100ml of blood. The more the quantity of alcohol makes the driver more vulnerable to accidents.

The danger increases manifold when he drives at 90 km/hr or 120 km/hr compared to the low speed driving. The probability of accidents increase with the increase of the speed of motor vehicle. Higher the speed would mean higher the risk of accidents and therefore should attract higher penalty. The Committee feels that a singular penalty in such cases will not serve the purpose. The Committee recommends the following slabs:

(i) 30-60 mg per 100ml of blood- a fine of Rs.2000/-

(ii) 60-150 mg per 100ml of blood- a fine of Rs.4000/- and/or imprisonment; and

(iii) 150mg and above per 100ml of blood a fine of Rs.5000/- and minimum imprisonment with a provision to cancel the driving licence."

Para 34.4. "The Committee's recommendations against Clause 9 may be applied in case of this Clause also with necessary modifications."

Para 35.2. "Clause 63 proposes ..."

Para 35.4. "One of the stakeholders in their memorandum submitted the Committee has stated that the maintenance of vehicles in good condition is a requirement of law. This area is often overlooked as the pollution levels and the numbers of road mishaps would suggest.

The cut throat competition, the huge 44burden of repayment of loans and the inability of the administration to properly check each vehicle physically at the time of issuance of certificate of fitness are some of the reasons that can be attributed to the above. As a result accidents are on the rise resulting in loss of life and property. Further, the menace of auto pollution is on the upswing. Proper checks and control are the need of the hour."

Para 35.5. "The M.V. Act, 1988 provides scope for appointment of "Authorized Testing Stations" for proper checking and testing of all vehicles for the purpose of renewal of certificate of fitness. They are supposed to install required machinery for this purpose and also appoint qualified engineers for this purpose. But, the government has failed to implement the same inspite of the adequate manpower available at their disposal for the same job."

Para 35.6. "The Committee notes that almost all the vehicle manufacturers are having authorized dealerships and authorized workshops in almost all the cities. The Committee therefore recommends that the manufacturers themselves can be asked to set up shops for this purpose after obtaining the required licenses from the concerned authority. This will be a huge step towards safer travel and transportation in this country.

This will also provide scope for additional business opportunities and scope for fresh jobs and employment opportunities. Adequate staff may be provided for testing the vehicles and the staff may be given periodical training to test the vehicles. Wherever, the Government are unable to provide adequate staff, entrusting the work to vehicle manufacturer may be thought of. Hence, government must move in this direction immediately.

The manufacturers themselves can be asked to set up shops for this purpose after obtaining the required licenses from the concerned authority. This will be a huge step towards safer travel and transportation in this country. This will also provide scope for additional business opportunities and scope for fresh jobs and employment opportunities."

Para 35.7. "The Committee recommends that the Government may reconsider Clause 63 after carefully scrutinizing the issues involved and addressing the issues raised by the stakeholders since this will authorize the State governments to have a panel of experts in the field of road transport for the purpose of carrying out audit inspection of authorized testing stations set up under section 56(2) of the Act."

Para 41. "Another aspect brought before the Committee by one of the stakeholders is the insufficiency of the road signage. They have stated that the road sign has been updated by the Indian Road Congress in 2001 but the First Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 has not been amended to incorporate the changes. This has left a major vacuum in road user education, the driver training as well as installation of signage as per law.

The Committee feels that if the signages in the schedule are obsolete or not keeping with the pace of the changing times, naturally there will remain a serious handicap in driver training and education. The Committee also notes that there is no mention of road marking or traffic signals in the first schedule. The Committee feels that this is a major shortcoming and recommends that the first schedule should be amended with comprehensive signs and symbols, road markings and signals as per the recommendations of the Indian Roads Congress."



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