Draft transport bill out today; focus on reforms

  • Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2014 03:30 IST

The Centre will on Saturday unveil a draft bill that intends to usher reforms in the transport sector by introducing digital systems for issuing driving licences, registration of vehicles besides setting up road safety police — on the lines of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) — and starting a fund to meet the expenses borne for the immediate treatment of accident victims.

The draft bill proposes to increase penalties for traffic violations, with each violation earning a penalty. A licence may be suspended for a year for every 12 penalty points accumulated.

The draft ‘Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014’ has been prepared after a study of traffic laws in five countries by a working group set up in the transport ministry.

“We want to bring transparency in the system. The changes being contemplated will lead to removal of cumbersome processes, shifting on an on-line platform, thereby reducing human intervention and the scope for corruption,” transport minister Nitin Gadkari told HT.

The ministry will invite suggestions from the public on the draft before introducing it in Parliament. A source said government wants to put in place a unified system for the registration and transfer of vehicles.

It plans on minimising human intervention by introducing a digital mechanism to judge driving skills. There will also be online applications for issuing licences with bio-metric systems put in place to avoid duplication and fake licences.

Every licence will carry a unique number. The draft proposes to give emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire tenders a ‘right to way’ over the VIP cars.

A road safety authority at the national and state level is also being proposed. The bill also make it mandatory for school buses to contain Global Positioning System (GPS) systems.

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