"We are at the final stage of drafting and the Bill is with the Legislative Department (Ministry of Law and Justice), and we hope to take it to the Cabinet by the (April) 20th," Road Secretary Vijay Chibber said on Friday.

He added that post Cabinet approval, the Road Transport and Safety Bill will replace the existing Central Motor Vehicles Act.

"We are hopeful that it will be introduced in the second leg of the current Parliament session," Chibber said.

He added, "We believe that this is an important lacuna (in road safety), and bringing a new legal architecture is our primary responsibility. It has taken some time, and right now, we are in our final lap."

The proposed Bill will be in sync with practices in six advanced nations - the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany and the UK.

Under the new proposals, driving at excessive speed may attract a fine up to Rs 3,000. This is in sharp contrast to Rs 400 penalty under the current Act.

For repeat offences, the amount of penalty proposed will be higher and there would be demerit points leading to suspension of the licence.

When asked about the dilution of penalty in the fourth draft of the Bill as compared to the first one, Chibber said, "Any such Bill requires views from all stakeholders and if they suggest rationalising the penalties, we will do. However, they are higher than the penalties that are prevalent under the current Act."

The Act was amended last in 2001.
In May 2012, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill could be passed only in the Rajya Sabha, thus falling short of becoming an Act without the Lok Sabha approval.

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