Tough measures proposed for road safety, implementation remains a question

Published On: September 14, 2016 12:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 14: The government has sought public feedback on the proposed third amendment to the Vehicles and Transport Management Act, 1993 that aims at introducing tough measures on road safety in the wake of recent deadly road accidents.

The proposed amendment has suggested tough measures against drivers and vehicle owners to discourage syndicate system and overloading of passenger vehicles. 

If passed, transport entrepreneurs will have to face fine up to Rs 200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both and cancelation of driver's license and vehicle operating permit for operating transport service under the syndicate system. 

The amendment proposal also seeks to make public more responsible toward road safety by proposing tough measures to discourage straying of domestic animals. 

Owner of animals will have to pay a fine of up to Rs 50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both punishments in case of any casualty caused by the animals. 

Department of Transport Management has proposed amendment to 104 clauses of the existing laws. “The amendment proposal will be forwarded to the Ministry of Law after collecting public feedback and incorporating them,” said spokesperson of the the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) Baburam Adhikari. 

Consumer rights activists, however, suspect whether the amendments will get endorsed any time soon. 

Despite of massive causalities in road accidents in the recent times, the government has relegated reform agenda putting them on the back burner, said Prem Maharjan, president of National Consumer Forum.

“Transport syndicate and cartel enjoy political backing,” he said, adding that consecutive government promises of road safety fails to translate their words into action due to politician-businessmen nexus. Politicians make promises just to escape from public fury during serious accidents, Maharjan said. 

The government could have taken stringent action even under the existing laws if it had the will power to do so, he told Republica. 

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