SUM Net pushes for amendment in Motor Vehicle Act

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On the 10th of July, Ranjit Gadgil, Programme Director at Parisar met Shri Jairam Ramesh, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, on behalf of SUM Net India. The meeting was made possible courtesy the efforts of Mr. Sudhir Badami, a member of SUM Net.

 

Shri Jairam Ramesh was apprised of Clause 48 of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment Bill), 2017 which empowers State Governments to regulate and control the access of non-motorized vehicles in public spaces and national highways. The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

 

  1. In section 138 of the principal Act, after sub-section (1), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:—

 

“(1A) The State Government may, in the interest of road safety, make rules for the purposes of regulating the activities and access of non-mechanically propelled vehicles and pedestrians to public places and national highways:

 

Provided that in the case of national highways, such rules shall be framed in consultation with the National Highways Authority of India.”.

 

To this, SUM Net India suggested following options:

 

Option A) Drop this clause altogether

 

Option B) Add a proviso

 

“Provided further that no such rules shall restrict the access or activities of non-mechanically propelled vehicles or pedestrians without providing suitable alternative and safe access to these modes, including the restriction of motor vehicles to such areas”

 

Provided also that such rules shall not impact the mobility of non-mechanically propelled vehicles or pedestrians

 

Option C) In addition to the above also, delete the words “and access” and “public places and”

 

Shri Jairam Ramesh agreed that the clause was problematic and suggested that the phrase “public spaces” should be deleted. He also agreed with SUM Net’s suggestion that the Government should instead formulate a separate Act for non-motorized vehicles. He assured of getting a commitment from the Minister on the floor of the House that the States should not be allowed to make rules that are anti-cyclist and anti-pedestrian.