Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill: Aiming at better road disciplines and traffic laws, the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 31st July 2019 i.e Wednesday after three changes. The bill will now be scrutinized in the Lok Sabha and after getting passed from there, it will be taken to the President for his approval.
Changes after the Bill?
Once the President approves the bill, there will new changes in the transportation laws of the public and goods. This bill aims at improving the traffic conditions and laws in the country and therefore, one of the major changes that will appear after the bill is the rise in the penalty and fine amounts in cases of law breaching.
Increase in fines:
The government has proposed to increase the fine for breaking traffics with the view that an increase in fines will lead to a decrease in the number of mishaps. The major increases re as follows:
- Driving without a license Fine - under section 181, the fine of driving without will increase to Rs. 5,000. earlier the fine was Rs. 500.
- Driving with disqualifications Fine - under section 182, a fine of Rs. 10,000 will be charged for driving despite being declared disqualified. earlier, the fine was Rs.500.
- Over speeding Fine - under section 183, a fine of Rs. 1000 and Rs.2000 will be charged for over-speeding light motor vehicles or medium passenger vehicles respectively. earlier, the fine was Rs. 400 in both cases.
- Rash Driving Fine - Under section 184, a fine of Rs.5000 will be charged for rash driving on roads. The earlier fine was of Rs.1000.
- Drink and drive Fine - Under section 185, the fine of drunk driving will increase to rs.10,000. Earlier, a fine of Rs.2000 was charged.
- Racing Fine - under section 189, for racing on public roads, a fine of Rs.5000 will be charged. Earlier the fine was Rs.500.
- Overloading Fine - under section 194A, a fine of Rs.1000 will be charged per extra passenger on the vehicle.
- Driving without a seatbelt Fine - Under section 194B, there will be a fine of Rs.1000 for driving without a seat belt. Earlier, a fine of Rs.100 was charged.
- Overloading two-wheeler Fine - Under section 194C, for overloading two-wheelers, there will be a penalty of Rs.2000. Their license will also be disqualified for three months or both. Earlier, the fine was only Rs.100.
- Driving without a helmet Fine - under section 194D, for riding without a helmet, the punishment includes fine of Rs.1000. The license will also be disqualified for three months. Earlier, the fine was only Rs.100.
- Not giving way to emergency vehicles Fine - under section 194E, a fine of Rs.10,000 will be charged for blocking the way of emergency vehicles.
- Driving without insurance Fine - under section 196, a fine of Rs.2000 will be charged. earlier the fine was only Rs.1000.
- Rule-breaking by juveniles Fine - under section 199, in case of offences performed by juveniles, their guardian or the owner of the vehicle will be guilty and the government will charge a fine of Rs.25,000 from them along with imprisonment for three years. The authority will send the juvenile involved in the case for trial under the JJ Act.
- Rule-breaking by the rule enforcing agencies Fine - under section 210B, in case any law enforcing agencies commits an offence, he will be charged double of the normal penalty.
More changes due to the bill:
- After the approval of the bill, the government will have the power using which she can increase the fines by 10% every year.
- The bill also has a provision for the people who will provide help to road accident victims in any medical or non-medical way. Authority will take care that such people face no harassment from the medical authorities or the law enforcement authorities. With this step, the government hopes that people will stop hesitating in helping accident victims. There is hope that they will get assistance at the correct time.
- According to a proposal in the bill, the government will create a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund. This will ensure all the citizens who use the roads. The department will utilize this fund in the treatment of the people who suffer in a road accident or to compensate the people who suffer in a hit and run cases or their representatives or to compensate a victim of any other similar case.
- As per a provision proposed in the bill, implementation of a ten-fold increase in insurance compensation will be there. Also, the compensation will increase from Rs.50,000 to Rs.5 lakhs. They will also simplify the claim process of compensation. The insurance firms will also get instructions to clear claims within a month. For the people getting severely injured in hit-and-run accidents, their compensation money will be increased from Rs. 12,500 to Rs.50,000. Plus, if a person dies in such an accident, his/her representative will be compensated with the amount of Rs.2 lakhs. Earlier, the compensation amount was only Rs.25,000.
- Aadhar card will be a mandatory identity proof for getting a driving license.
- Introduction of a computerized driving test to check the eligibility of the people getting the license. This will prevent cases of fake licenses and ill-qualified drivers on the roads.
- A provision of opening training schools to teach drivers has also been proposed in the bill.
- With the passing of the bill, the government will get the power to order a recall if tests establish that the concerned vehicle can be risky on putting in use on the roads or if it damages the environment. According to the proposal, the vehicle manufactures will have to replace the defective with another vehicle that does not possess the same threats or will have to repay the entire price to the buyers. Not just this, if any manufacturer fails to meet the set standards of vehicles or brings any inappropriate product in the market, he will be charged with Rs.100 crores and can even suffer imprisonment for one year or even both.
- The bill holds a proposal of creating a Road Safety Board to advise the central and the state government on matters relating to traffic and road safety. This board will also deal with the approval of new technologies.
- There will be modifications in the registration process of the vehicles. This proposal is there in order to reduce corruption at the RTO.
- In case the contractors given the contracts for road constructions fail to fulfill the required standards, they will have to give a fine of rs.1 lakh.
- A new set of standards will be there to define vehicle fitness.
- Cab companies like Ola, Uber, etc. will require licenses that comply with the IT Act, 2000.
As listed above, many changes will come into action with the view of improving the condition of discipline and road safety in the country. The vision of the bill is quite high and if can bring revolutionary changes if implemented well.
But we have to wait to see if the Bill gets approval from the Loka Sabha.