Mains Paper: 2 | Governance
Prelims level: Motor Vehicles Act
Mains level: States should reconsider their opposition to amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act
• 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.