GUWAHATI, July 19 - Consumer Legal Protection Forum, a consumer rights body, has urged the members of Rajya Sabha from Assam to support passage of the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 in the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
�The passage of the Bill is crucial in its current form and in the current session. If this Bill is further deferred, we will be putting at risk the lives of around 36,000 citizens, besides serious injuries, before the next session of the Parliament can adopt it. These casualties include thousands of innocent children,� said Ajoy Hazarika, secretary of the forum.
He said passage of the Bill will save 400 lives every day across the country, which are lost due to accidents.
�The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 has revised provisions and penalties aiming to reduce fatalities on Indian roads. Among key provisions of the Bill, it proposes to make safety belt or child restraint system mandatory for children below 14 years of age in cars with a stiff penalty of Rs 1,000 in case of failure to adhere to it. It also proposes to make guardian or owner deemed to be guilty with Rs 25,000 penalty and/or three years� imprisonment with cancellation of registration for juvenile drivers, penalty of Rs 1,000 and subsequent disqualification of driving licence for not wearing helmet, stricter penalty for rash and negligent driving, and to protect the good samaritans from legal harassment, besides having other life-saving amendments,� Hazarika said.
He cited data by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways according to which India recorded five lakh road accidents and nearly 1.5 lakh deaths in road accidents in 2015.
�Approximately, 1,374 crashes and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads. A tough law is needed to further bring down road accidents by 50 per cent by 2020 as a commitment which India made by adopting the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety,� he said.
The Bill was already cleared by the Lok Sabha in the last session and is due for consideration by the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session.