New law against rash driving soon

April 12th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by admin  

Fakir Balaji
Bangalore, April 12 (IANS) Alarmed over the growing number of fatal road accidents, the Law Commission is working on a new law to punish vehicle users against rash and negligent driving. The 17th Law Commission has drafted a new amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for punitive action against rash and negligent driving of any motorised vehicle.

Law Commission chairman Justice A.R. Lakshmanan told IANS here Saturday the draft amendment would be submitted to the government soon for enacting it into a law.

“The commission will finalise the draft amendment after a committee of experts studies it and submits it to the union law ministry for introducing it as a bill in parliament. We hope the government will enact the new law in the next six months,” Lakshmanan said on the sidelines of a legal symposium.

As per the data compiled for amending the Motor Vehicles Act, which is applicable in all states and union territories, there is an injury every second minute and fatality on road every nine minutes in India due to mishaps involving different vehicles.

As a result, the data revealed about 150-200 people die daily in road accidents. Injury is seventh leading cause of death. In the age group of 5-44 years, road mishaps are the third leading cause of grave injuries or fatality.

“The rate of accidents and casualties is disturbing. There is an urgent need to curb the menace on our roads and highways. With more people driving or using personal transport, only a stringent law will induce vehicle users to avoid rash driving,” Lakshmanan asserted.

The commission hopes law enforcing agencies and courts will be able to take cognisance of the offence or violation of the amended act to convict or impose fines on the guilty.

The commission is also recommending a fresh amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 on self-accusation by women to protect welfare of family, especially men.

Lakshmanan, however, did not deliberate on the issue as it was still at draft stage.

On the role of the executive in judicial appointments at highest levels, Lakshmanan said as the issue was pending before the Supreme Court, the commission was yet to take a view.

“It is for the apex court to decide who should select judicial officers. Whether the executive should have a say in judicial appointments is a matter of legal opinion. The commission has not taken any view on it,” he added.

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