All You Need To Know about New Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill
The Rajya Sabha on July 31 passed the long-pending Motor Vehicle Amendments Bill. Considered to be one of the major Modi government, it focuses on bringing down the corruption in the transport sector, improve road safety and usher in use of technology for better management of traffic.
The Upper House passed the bill moved by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari with 108 Ayes and 13 Noes. The bill is however returned to the Lok Sabha for a typo and will be enforced as law once it gets President’s nod.
The bill categorises common offences like the use of mobile during driving, jumping traffic lights, and driving on the wrong lane as “dangerous driving” and also imposes a hefty penalty on violation of traffic rule.
Dangerous driving: Fine of Rs 5000. Earlier penalty – Rs 1000
Driving without license: Fine of Rs 5,000. Earlier penalty – Rs 1,000.
Driving with disqualified license: Penalty of Rs 10,000
Overspeeding: A fine of Rs 1,000 for Light Motor Vehicles, and Rs 2,000 for Medium passenger vehicle. Earlier penalty – Rs 400
Overloading of two wheeler: Fine of Rs 2000, and/or cancellation of license for three months. Earlier penalty – Rs 100
Overloading of passengers: Fine of Rs 1000 per passenger.
Riding without helmet: Fine of Rs 1,000, and/or cancellation of license for three months. Earlier penalty – Rs 100.
Not giving way to emergency vehicles: Fine of Rs 10,000. (New)
Drink and Drive: Fine of Rs 10,000. Earlier penalty – Rs 2,000.
Offences committed by enforcing authorities: Twice the fine to be paid by the authority for the offence.
Driving without insurance: Fine of Rs 2000. Earlier – Rs 1000
Underage driving: The guardian or owner of the vehicle will be held accountable with upto Rs 25,000 fine and three years in jail. In some case, registration may also be cancelled.
Taxi aggregators violating the driving license: Under the new bill, Rs 1 lakh have to be paid
The central government has also mentioned that the fines mentioned under the Act might rise every year by up to 10%.
Stringent Action Against Contractors/Car Manufacturers
The new bill not only holds drivers accountable but also looks at other factors that have led to the accident. The bill seeks to fix liability of contractors for faulty road designs. The new bill will hold contractors or authorities responsible for failing to comply with the prescribed road designs and standards, and their failure results in injury or death of a person. The provision didn’t exist earlier.
If car manufacturers fail to comply with motor vehicle standards, then they will have to pay a fine up to Rs 100 crore, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.
Compensation and Insurance Coverage
The new bill has also increased the compensation in case of hit-and-run cases. Earlier, the compensation that a driver had to pay in case of death was Rs 25,000, which has now been increased to Rs 2 lakh. In the cases of injuries, a person will now pay Rs 50,000 to the victim.
The insurance company will now have to pay claims within a month if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh of compensation. Under the new bill driving without insurance will cost one a fine of Rs 2,000.
To help the road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill. The bill defined good samaritan as a person who comes forward to help a road accident victim. The bill states that individuals coming to help will not face civil or criminal action if the accident victim suffers any injury or dies due to negligence.