The Motor vehicle amendant bill 2019 has been passes in Lok Sabha , although it has hit the road block in rajya sabha & remains to be cleared. This is to amend the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.

The same Bill had earlier been passed by the Lok Sabha in the April of 2017. However, it could not get clearance from the Rajya Sabha and lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Bill aims to enforce stricter penalties for road traffic violations.

The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to provide for road safety.  The Act provides for grant of licenses and permits related to motor vehicles, standards for motor vehicles, and penalties for violation of these provisions. The major amendments proposed are under:

  • Compensation for road accident victims:The central government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.  The Bill defines golden hour as the time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest.  The central government may also make a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation under third party insurance.  The Bill increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases as follows: (i) in case of death, from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees, and (ii) in case of grievous injury, from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000.
  • Compulsory insurance:The Bill requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India.  It will be utilised for: (i) treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme, (ii) compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident, (iii) compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and (iv) compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government.  This Fund will be credited through: (i) payment of a nature notified by the central government, (ii) a grant or loan made by the central government, (iii) balance of the Solatium Fund (existing fund under the Act to provide compensation for hit and run accidents), or (iv) any other source as prescribed the central government.
  • Good samaritansThe Bill defines a good samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident.  The assistance must have been (i) in good faith, (ii) voluntary, and (iii) without the expectation of any reward.  Such a person will not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury to or death of an accident victim, caused due to their negligence in providing assistance to the victim.
  • Recall of vehicles: The Bill allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.  The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to: (i) reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or (ii) replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better specifications.
  • National Transportation Policy: The central government may develop a National Transportation Policy, in consultation with state governments.  The Policy will: (i) establish a planning framework for road transport, (ii) develop a framework for grant of permits, and (iii) specify priorities for the transport system, among other things.
  • Road Safety Board:The Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification.  The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management including: (i) standards of motor vehicles, (ii) registration and licensing of vehicles, (iii) standards for road safety, and (iv) promotion of new vehicle technology.
  • Offences and penalties:The Bill increases penalties for several offences under the Act.  For example, the maximum penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.  If a vehicle manufacturer fails to comply with motor vehicle standards, the penalty will be a fine of up to Rs 100 crore, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.  If a contractor fails to comply with road design standards, the penalty will be a fine of up to one lakh rupees.  The central government may increase fines mentioned under the Act every year by up to 10%.
  • Taxi aggregators: The Bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services).  These aggregators will be issued licenses by state  Further, they must comply with the Information Technology Act, 2000.

*Rules for Driving Licence

Furthermore, the amendment also states that the use of Aadhar number will be mandatory for applying for driving licence and vehicle registrations. The bill also reduces the validity of the driving licence from the current 20 years to just 10 years. Those renewing their licences between the age of 50 and 55 years will have a validity only till 60 years. And those renewing the licence after the age of 55, will have a validity only of five years. The bill also chucks out the payout limit on third part insurance.

 

Increased penalties for several offences under the Act are as under:

 

Section/ Offence Old Penalty New Penalty (Minimum)
General (177) Rs 100 Rs 500
Rules of road regulation violation (new 177A) Rs. 100 Rs 500
Travelling without a ticket (178) Rs 200 Rs 500
Disobedience of orders of authorities (179) Rs 500 Rs 2000
Unauthorized use of vehicles without licence (180) Rs 1000 Rs 5000
Driving without licence (181) Rs 500 Rs 5000
Driving without qualification (182) Rs 500 Rs 10,000
Oversized vehicles (182B) New Rs 5000
Over speeding (183) Rs 400 Rs 1000 for LMV, Rs 2000 for Medium Passenger Vehicle
Dangerous driving penalty (184) Rs. 1,000 Upto Rs 5000
Drunken driving (185) Rs 2000 Rs 10,000
Speeding/ Racing (189) Rs 500 Rs 5,000
Vehicle without permit (192A) Upto Rs 5000 Upto Rs 10,000
Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions) (193) New Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000
Overloading (194) Rs 2,000, and Rs 1,000 per extra tonne Rs 20,000, and Rs 2,000 per extra tonne
Overloading of Passengers (194A) N.A. Rs 1000 per extra passenger
Seat Belt (194 B) Rs 100 Rs 1,000
Overloading of two-wheelers (194 C) Rs 100 Rs 2,000 , Disqualification of licence for 3 months
Not providing way for emergency vehicles (194E) New Rs 10,000
Driving without insuarance (196) Rs 1,000 Rs 2,000
Offences by Juveniles (199) New Guardian/ Owner shall be deemed guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 years imprisonment. Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled.
Power of officers to impound documents (206) N.A. Suspension of driving licence under sections 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E,
Offences committed by enforcing authorities (210B) N.A. Twice the penalty under the relevant section

 

The purposed penalties in motor amendment bill 2019 have been increased  to act as deterrence for various driving offences..

Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019

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