Source: News Bharati English11 Apr 2017 14:15:27

New Delhi, April 11: Lok Sabha approved the ‘Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ on Monday. The amendments include fine for traffic violations, compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for grave injuries, and check bogus licenses and vehicle theft.The Bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to address issues such as third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, and road safety. The bill calls for 100% e-governance and will cap maximum liability for third party insurance at Rs. 10 Lakh in case of death in a motor accident.

The changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, were approved by the Union cabinet on March 31.  The bill introduced in Parliament last year had proposed 89 clauses for amendment out of which only 57 were accepted by the Parliament Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Mukul Roy.

While speaking on the bill, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that all efforts would be made to eliminate corruption in the sector. No bogus driving licenses would be made and there would be no theft of vehicles once there is e-governance.”

Highlights of the amended bill:

  1. Higher Penalties: The minimum fine for being caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from Rs. 2,000 to Rs.10,000 and for rash driving, it has been increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs. 5,000. People found driving without a seat belt can be fined Rs.1,000 and the penalty for driving without a helmet is a fine of Rs.1,000 along with a 3-month suspension of the offender’s driving license. 
  1. Cashless Treatment for Road Accident Victims: The bill instructs the central government to develop a scheme to provide cashless medical treatment to people injured in road accidents as saving the life of a severely injured person is the highest if medical attention is given within the first 60 minutes. 
  1. Increased Compensation for The Family of The Deceased: If an individual dies in a hit and run case, the central government is required to provide a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh or more to their family. Currently, the compensation provided for such cases is Rs. 25,000. 
  1. The inclusion of Good Samaritan (bystanders who come forward, in good faith, to help road accident victims) Guidelines: These guidelines protect Good Samaritans from civil and criminal liability and make it optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel. 
  1. National Transportation Policy: The central government aims to develop a ‘National Transportation Policy’ to establish a framework for road transportation planning, for granting of permits, and identify and set priorities for the road transport system. The policy is to be created in consultation with the various state governments. 
  1. Compulsory Insurance: Under the Act, the liability of the third party insurer for motor vehicle accidents is unlimited. The Bill caps the maximum liability for third party insurance in case of a motor accident at Rs 10 Lakh in the case of death and at Rs.5 Lakh in the case of grievous injury. The Bill provides a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund which would provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents. 
  1. Recognition of Offences Committed by Juveniles: The bill covers traffic violations committed by juveniles and places the responsibility on their guardians or on the owner of the motor vehicle involved. They will be let off only if it is proven that the offense was committed without their knowledge or that all due diligence to prevent it was exercised. Apart from this, the registration of the motor vehicle in question will be cancelled. 
  1. Automated Fitness Training for Vehicles: The bill pushes the introduction of an automated process to test the fitness of motor vehicles by October 1, 2018. This will help in keeping unsafe vehicles off the road and reduce corruption in transportation departments. Such automated testing centres have already started coming up in different states and have computer-monitored tests for PUC (pollution under control) certification, speedometer calibration, brake adjustment, suspension testing and wheel alignment. 
  1. National Registry for Licenses and Registrations: To unify and streamline the process of issuing and documenting registrations and licenses issued, the bill formalizes the creation of a ‘National Register for Driving License’ and a ‘National Register for Vehicle Registration’. 
  1. Electronic Monitoring: The bill has asked the government to ensure proper electronic surveillance on national and state highways and urban roads.