Motor Vehicle Bill 2019: Government Aims for Safer Roads
The Parliament has cleared the long pending Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, which proposes a much tougher penalties and hefty fines for violating traffic norms. This bill is proposed with the intension to put India on the safer roads, as India tops the number of fatalities occurred due to road accidents. According to the government reports, India loses nearly 1.5 lakh lives every year in the road accidents, and most of them fall in the age group ranging between 15 to 34 years. The country has registered an average of 4.5 lakh road accidents a year in the past four years.
The bill has categorized the common offence like jumping traffic signals, usage of hand held devices, driving in the wrong flow, as ‘dangerous driving’ and has increased the penalty from 1,000 to 5,000. While the traffic violation will attract a fine of 500 instead of 100, defying the authorities bring in 2,000 fine in place of 500, earlier. Not paving way for the emergency vehicles invites 10,000 fine and the same applies for driving despite disqualification, which are the new additions in the proposed bill.
If the driver is held driving without a license, s/he will be penalized 5,000, which earlier was 500. Not wearing a seat belt will attract a fine of 1000. Driving without helmet can also bring in 1,000 fine and can face three months of suspension of their license. Over speeding fine will range between 1,000–2,000. While drunk and drive will slash 10,000 fine, which was 2000 under the existing law. Overloading of vehicle will tax you 20,000.
Road offence caused by Juveniles will charge the guardian or the owner of the vehicle with the penalty of 25,000 along with three years imprisonment and their vehicle registration will be cancelled. In addition to that, the minors will not be eligible for license until they turn 25. Taxi aggregators violating driving licenses will be fined up to 1 lakh.
Insurance & Compensations
The bill also focuses on the insurance firms, who now have to pay the claims within a month if the victim’s family agrees to accept 5 lakh compensation. Furthermore, the hit and run cases compensation has been elevated from 25,000 to 2 lakh in case of death and from 12,500 to 50,000 in case of critical injuries. The bill has also proposed a motor vehicle accident fund, which will be initiated at the central level to meet the insurance coverage of every road users and to provide the compensation for the road accident victims.
The central government plans to announce a new scheme, cashless treatment for road accident victims during the ‘golden hour’, which is the first one hour post the accident. Furthermore, the compensation for the road accident should be claimed within six months from the date of accident. If the road accident victim dies, his/her legal heir can claim the compensation.
To aid the road accident victims, Good Samaritan guideline has been consolidated in the bill. This act will relive the individual who help the victim from all the civil or criminal action, if the victim dies accidently. The Motor Vehicle bill will be introduced in the forthcoming sessions in the Lok Sabha, as there are few minor amendments before its been put forth for the Presidential assent.
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