Editorial Analysis || Change gears: amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act

Mains Paper: 2 | Governance

Prelims level: Motor Vehicles Act

Mains level:  States should reconsider their opposition to amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act

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Context

• India’s Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which governs motor vehicles and transport lacks
the provisions necessary to manage fast motorization.

• It is unable to improve road safety, ensure an orderly use of vehicles and expand public
transport.

• The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2017 and is
pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Constitutional Framework

• The subject is in the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution so Parliament can make a
law defining powers available to the States.

• Some State governments are concerned about Sections 66A and 88A.

• It will let the Centre form a National Transportation Policy by consultation without concurrence.

• This will allow Centrally-drafted schemes to be issued for national, multi-modal and interstate movement of goods and passengers, for rural mobility and even last-mile connectivity.

Steps needs to be taken by the central government as well as state governments

• The several States have opposed the provisions as being anti-federal.

• Amendments related to Road safety cannot work without strong enforcement by the
States.

• Doing nothing is not an option.

• Investments made in the urban metro rail systems cannot work in the absence of last-mile connectivity services.

• Use of well-run bus services to operate across States with suitable permit charges is 
a need for a growing economy like India.

• The bill aims to reduce corruption at Regional Transport Offices by allowing
dealers to directly register new vehicles and online applications for driving licenses.

• Enforcement, zero tolerance and increasing penalties need to the focus.

• Use of technology like CCTV monitoring cannot produce results when there is no
professional accident investigation agency.

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