Motor Vehicle Bill 2017
The Amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is yet to receive its final passing. Therefore, its called the Motor Vehicle Bill 2016. Following are some of the changes the new bill intends to bring to the Original Act.
1. Increased Penalty for Violation of Traffic Rules:
The bill intends to increases the penalty rates for drunk dribing i.e driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs from Rs.2,000 to Rs.10,000. The penalty amount for rash driving increases from Rs.1000 to Rs.5000.
Additionally, penalty for driving without a seat belt attracts a fine of Rs.1000 and driving without a license Rs.1000 with a 3-month suspension of the offenders driving license.
2. Cashless Treatment for Road Accident Victims
The bill recognizes the fact, that, the likelihood of saving the life of a severely injured person is the highest if medical attention is given within the first 60 minutes. Therefore, the bill instructs the Central Government to develop a scheme to provide cashless medical treatment to people injured in road accidents within the first hour of its occurrence.
3. Increased Compensation for The Family of The Deceased
Currently, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, compensation for loss of life is very mediocre at Rs.25000, the new bill suggest an increase in the compensation amount to Rs.2,00,000 or more to the family of the deceased.
4. Good Samaritan Guidelines
The Good Samaritan guidelines issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and enforced in law by the Supreme Court on March 30, 2016, takes incorporation in the new bill. The Good Samaritans (bystanders coming forward, in good faith, to help road accident victims) protected from civil and criminal liability and also makes it optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel.
5. Compulsory Insurance
One of the requirements in the bill is that the central government set up a ‘Motor Vehicle Accident Fund’. This will provide an automatic cover for all road accident victims in India. This suggestion was made by the Supreme Court in 2011 to provide compensation in instances of injuries and deaths due to hit and run cases and also to people who just happen to be in a vehicle which met with an accident.
6. National Transportation Policy
The central government is required 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 governments of each state.
7. Recognition of Offences Committed by Juveniles
The bill also aims to cover 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 offence 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. Juveniles themselves will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
8. Automated Fitness Training for Vehicles
One of the new sections included in the bill pushes for the introduction of an automated process to test the fitness of motor vehicles by October 1, 2018. This move should do a better task of 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.
9. National Registry for Licenses and Registrations
To unify and streamline the process of issuing and documenting registrations and licenses issued, the bill formalises the creation of a ‘National Register for Driving License’ and a ‘National Register for Vehicle Registration’ through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ existing Vahan (for vehicle registry) and Sarthi (for driving licenses) platforms.
Launched in 2007, these online platforms have been working towards the creation of a centralized database and making the process of obtaining licenses and registrations swifter.
10. Electronic Monitoring
The bill has a provision that asks the government to ensure proper electronic surveillance on national and state highways and urban roads. The central government is supposed to create a comprehensive set of rules for this.