Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 07 September 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. Examine the effectiveness of the recently passed Motor Vehicles Act towards addressing road safety issues in India? (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Effectiveness of the act in addressing road safety issues in India
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

The central government has recently amended the Motor Vehicle 1988 by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019. The Motor Vehicles Act 2019 has been implemented throughout the country since September 1, 2019.

Introduction:

sharp rise in the number of vehicle population has led to an increased number of fatalities and injuries from road accidents. The Motor Vehicles Act is at the opportune moment as India has recently become the member to the Brasilia declaration on road safety, thereby, committing to reduce the number of fatal road accidents by half by 2020.

Effectiveness of the act in addressing road safety issues in India:

  • India’s Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 was drafted when the country’s motorization was in its nascent stage, in order to give a boost to motor vehicle ownership. The legislation however, missed on crucial features like safety.
  • The 2019 Act empowers the central government to come up with national transport policy, which would help in developing a framework for planning, granting permits and setting priorities for the road transport sector. There is a clear link between infrastructure design and safety.
  • The bill also proposes a new category of permits that will help scale up public transport services in cities as well as rural areas. The risk of traffic crash increases with every kilometer travelled in a personal vehicle. Increased use of public transport not only improves accessibility, but reduces vehicle travel, thereby improving road safety.
  • It empowers the government to ask manufacturers to recall motor vehicles if they could potentially damage the health and safety of road users, whether because of design flaws, emissions or other features.
  • Obtaining a driving license (DL) will not be easy if a person lacks adequate skills as driving tests are expected to become technology-driven by reducing human interface to curb corruption.
  • The bill also recognizes ride-hailing companies like Uber and Ola. This will help better regulate these companies in terms of drivers’ working hours, data sharing including speeding and traffic violations, and more.
  • One of the most talked-about provisions of the bill is enhanced penalties. Many traffic offenses in India, such as drunk driving and speeding, currently have low penal provisions. Enhanced penalties will act as a deterrent and hopefully improve
  • The bill would also create a Motor Vehicles Accident Fund that provides compulsory insurance to all road users in India—from drivers to bicyclists to pedestrians. The fund would pay for treatment of victims, compensate victims’ relatives and more.
  • The bill also protects “Good Samaritans,” anyone who assists a crash victim by providing emergency medical or non-medical support, from any civil or criminal action.
  • For offenses committed by juvenile drivers, the bill proposes that the guardian or owner of the vehicle would be guilty.

Motor Vehicles Act 2019, is a welcome move as on many occasion it has been proved that strong legislations improves the awareness and in turn it would improve safety on road.

The key impact of the imposition of the new law would be on implementing the enhanced penalties on errant drivers. Some, however, point out that stiffer penalties can also increase corruption as there is always a chance of escape by bribing the traffic police. The use of technology will help in curbing such rule violations.

Harsh penalties should be complimented with awareness building mechanism through opinion pieces, workshops, and trainings for civil society groups and truck services and taxi associations. This would help India to build an efficient, safe and corruption free transport system in the country.

Conclusion:

The Motor Vehicles Act 2019 would help in creating a public transport system that is modern, urbane and improves the travel experience for commuters even in rural areas.

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