New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on June 24 approved changes to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. Following this amendment, if you break traffic rules, do not give way to ambulance, let a juvenile ride your vehicle or violate any other rules under the Motor Vehicles Act, watch out.
This bill which was pending for approval in the Rajya Sabha lapsed when the term of the 16th Lok Sabha ended. Now approved, it aims to tackle pertinent road safety issues. Apart from proposing heavy penalties for violations, it aims to strengthen public transportation and curb corruption. The proposal has been made as per the recommendations of Transport Ministers from over 18 States and was vetted by the Standing Committee of the Parliament.
Following the Centre’s move, the State Government has issued a Gazette Notification and has implemented certain fines for offences (see table). Here are some highlights from the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill:
• The Amended Bill proposes hefty penalties for violation of traffic norms. It has proposed Rs. 10,000 fine if you fail to give way to emergency vehicles (ambulance).
• Driving despite being disqualified? This will invite a fine of Rs. 10,000.
• Violated traffic rules? Rs. 100 won’t suffice. The revised fine is Rs. 500. Disobedience of the orders of authorities will attract a minimum penalty of Rs. 2,000.
• Driving without your licence will cost you a fine of Rs. 5,000. Over-speeding will attract penalties between Rs. 1,000-2,000. Driving without insurance can invite a fine of Rs. 2,000.
• If you drive without a helmet, you have to shell out a fine of Rs. 1,000, and your licence will be suspended for three months. Not wearing a seat belt? Pay Rs. 1,000 as fine.
• Letting a juvenile drive your vehicle? You, the guardian/owner, will be deemed guilty in case of road offence by them. You will be fined Rs. 25,000 with imprisonment of three years and cancellation of the vehicle’s registration.
• Ride-hailing aggregators can be fined up to Rs. 1 lakh for violating driving licensing conditions and Rs. 20,000 for overloading of vehicles.
• Driving dangerously? The fine has been revised from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000. Drunken driving? You will attract a fine of Rs. 10,000. This is five times the previous fine.
• Speeding or racing? Pay ten times the previous fine at Rs. 5,000.
• Enforcing authorities committing any of these offences will be fined double on their offence.
In case an accident causes death, the bill caps the maximum liability of the third party at Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh in an accident causing serious injury.
The new law could also help simplify the registration process for new vehicles by making Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining a Driving Licence (DL) and vehicle registration. The bill has proposed an increase in the validity of DLs. It also aims to allow the Centre to recall defective vehicles causing harm to the environment and people.