New Delhi: Regretting that disruptions in Parliament proceedings over various issues was hindering taking up of important legislations, Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes on Saturday said efforts will be made to get the Motor Vehicle Act passed in the current session.
"The Bill (Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill) is listed. Every day I am trying that the Bill is passed in Lok Sabha but unfortunately no business is being transacted. In the last two days we will make every effort that it is passed," Fernades told reporters on the sidelines of a Conference on Strengthening Road safety Legislation here.
"If the House is extended by a couple of days then I think we should be able to take it up if there is a business in the House."
Earlier, addressing the conference, Fernandes said appropriate legislation plays a very important role in making the country's roads safer.
Enforcement of comprehensive and clear legislation with appropriate penalties, accompanied by public awareness of the laws is a critical factor in reducing road traffic injuries and deaths.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which has been passed by Rajya Sabha, proposes hefty penalty for traffic rule violations including drunken driving.
Expressing concern that road fatalities were exceptionally high in India and over 1.38 lakh people were killed in around 4.9 lakh road accidents in 2012, Fernandes said strengthening motor vehicle related legislation will certainly result in road safety.
Once the proposed amendment is passed, traffic rule violators will have to cough up hefty penalties - almost 10 times more than what they pay now - for offences such as over speeding and drunken driving.
The Bill seeks to raise compensation for death resulting from a hit and run accident to Rs one lakh and Rs 50,000 for the injured in such incidents.
Framed in 1988, several provisions of the bill - especially those related to penalties for violations - have not been found to be effective in checking road accidents. The last time the MV Act was amended was in 2001.
The present bill provides that rash driving could attract a civil liability of up to Rs 5,000 in addition to punishment under the Indian Penal Code.
Drunk driving will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 and a two-year jail term, as per the Bill provisions.
Addressing the conference, Justice J R Midha of the Delhi High Court said strict enforcement of law could improve the situation as unfortunately India accounted for one road accident death every three minutes.
Director, Violence & Injury Prevention, WHO Etienne Krug said road traffic injuries impacted 1-3 per cent of GDP of various countries.
Adviser, Global Road safety, World Bank, Tony Bliss, stressed the need for initiating urgent measures for road safety.