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10 Things To Know About The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016

Road accidents in India take more lives than natural disasters and diseases do and these figures are on the rise. With the aim of addressing this problem, the pending Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 is an attempt to create an exhaustive and comprehensive legislative framework for road safety in India
10 Things To Know About The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016

Road accidents in India take more lives than natural disasters and diseases do and these figures are on the rise. With the aim of addressing this problem, the pending Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 is an attempt to create an exhaustive and comprehensive legislative framework for road safety in India. With a proposal of 68 amendments to 233 sections and the insertion of 28 new sections in the 1988 Motor Vehicles Act, the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in August 2016 and is currently with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Culture, and Tourism.

From steeper fines to greater automation, here is a breakdown of the essential features of the bill.

Also Read: Over 1.3 Million Road Accident Deaths In A Decade: India’s Killer Roads

1. Higher Penalties

The bill increases the penalties for several offences. The minimum fine for being caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 and for rash driving, it has been increased from ₹1,000 to ₹5,000.

Additionally, people found driving without a seat belt can be fined ₹1,000 and the penalty for driving without a helmet is a fine of ₹1,000 along with a 3-month suspension of the offender’s driving licence.

Also Read: Wearing Helmets – A Choice Between Life And Death

2. 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 within the first hour of its occurrence. This clause has been included in recognition of 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.

3. 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 ₹2 lakh or more to their family. Currently, the compensation provided for such cases is ₹25,000.

4. Inclusion of Good Samaritan Guidelines

The bill also incorporates the Good Samaritan guidelines which were issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and given the force of law by the Supreme Court on March 30, 2016, in their entirety. These guidelines protect Good Samaritans (bystanders who come forward, in good faith, to help road accident victims) from civil and criminal liability and make it optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel.

Read More: Why India Needs To Protect Its Good Samaritans

5. National Transportation Policy

Under the bill, 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 state governments.

6. Compulsory Insurance

Apart from new provisions that simplify the process of settling third party insurance claims and put a cap of ₹10 lakh for deaths and ₹5 lakh for injuries for insurer liabilities, 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 is an incorporation a suggestion which was made by the Supreme Court in 2011 to provide compensation in instances of injuries and deaths due to hit and run cases and to people who just happen to be in a vehicle which meets with an accident.

7. Recognition of Offences Committed by Juveniles

The bill also 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 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.

7 Comments

  1. P KONDAL RAO

    Respected Sir,
    1. I am herewith taking the liberty to make some suggestions regarding improving “Road Safety”.
    2. Would be grateful if you could do something to improve the conditions of the roads in the country.
    ROAD SAFETY
    DE-CONGESTING THE ROADS
    1. It is seen that there is a lot of congestion on the roads in the country due excessive private cars and two wheelers on the roads. The only way to de-congest the roads is to increase the number of buses plying on the roads. In order to encourage entrepreneurs to invest money in public transport, the following is recommended.
    2. The number of buses should be increased immediately to de-congest the roads.
    3. Charge minimum amount of road tax for the first five years; after which normal road taxes as applicable to old vehicles may be charged.
    4. The bus operators should be permitted to ply their buses as necessary, to carry as many passengers as possible and earn their livelihood.
    5. Therefore the bus operators would compete with each other to provide better passenger amenities to the passengers.
    6. The public would stop using their private vehicles, once they find that they are able to go wherever they want on public transport.
    7. In case the bus manufacturers in the nation are unable to cope up with the demand of manufacturing buses, bus operators should be permitted to procure new buses from the international market.
    8. The first and foremost aim of this endeavor is to de-congest the roads as early as possible.

    ISSUE OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION TO VEHICLES
    1. It is seen that the Transport Department issues a Certificate of Registration of Vehicles (Life Certificate) for an extended period of 10 to 15 years.
    2. Implies there are no checks on the condition of the vehicles during the interim period, therefore there are a large number of sick vehicles on the roads of the country; which are detrimental to the safety of the citizens.
    3. The following measures are recommended to eradicate sick vehicles from the roads.
    a. The Transport Departments should issue bi-annual Certificates of Registration, as per the under mentioned guidelines.
    i. Irrespective of where the vehicle is repaired; a workshop of the Original Equipment Manufacturer namely (Tata, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, Bajaj etc) to issue an annual Road Worthiness Certificate to the vehicle and the same is put up on the internet along with the Vehicle Registration Number.
    ii. The vehicle Insurance Company renews annual Insurance only after obtaining the Road Worthiness Certificate and puts up the same on the internet.
    iii. Once in two years the Transport Department renews the Certificate of Registration after sighting the Road Worthiness Certificate of the OEM and the Certificate of Insurance.
    4. In case the Inspectors of the Transport Department observe an un-fit vehicle on the road they would issue a “Show Cause Notice” to the yard which has issued the Road Worthiness Certificate. This would act as deterrence to the workshops to issue false certificates.
    5. The traffic Police should have easy access to all the above records to enable them to randomly inspect the vehicles.

    ISSUE OF DRIVING LICENSES.
    1. It is seen that driving licenses are issued by the Transport Department for a period of five years and once a driving license is issued the renewal of license is very easy.
    2. Importance paid to the Drivers Medical condition is negligible; there are a number of quacks around the Transport Departments, who issue a medical certificate after charging a small sum of around Rs. Fifty only.
    3. Implies there a number of medically un-fit people driving vehicles all over the country, which is considered very un-safe.
    4. It is therefore recommended that the standards for issue of a Bi-annual medical certificate should be very stringent.
    5. The authorized Doctors for issue of Medical Certificates for renewal of driving licenses should be published on the internet.
    6. The Doctor should carry out the medical examination as per the laid down scales of the Indian Medical Association and issue a certificate that the individual is fully fit to drive a vehicle. The Doctor issuing the Certificate should clearly write down his full name, Medical Registration Number, Telephone number and his internet address.
    7. The Transport Department would renew the Drivers License for a period of two years only after seeing the Medical Certificate on the internet.
    8. In case an Inspector of the Transport Department or Police catches a Medically Un-fit person, he should be in a position to give a show cause notice to the Medical Officer who issued the Medical Fitness Certificate.

    DRINKING AND DRIVING.
    1. It may be seen that there are large number of wine shops on the Highways and the drivers are habituated to drinking and driving on the roads. This is detrimental to the safety of the other commuters on the road. Therefore, the following is strongly recommended.
    a. The Police should be provided with alcometers and internet access on their smart phones along with a device for taking the finger prints of individuals.
    b. Once they catch a drunken driver, the conversation with the driver and other people in the vicinity should be video recorded and the same is to be immediately uploaded on the internet. For fear of the victim changing his statement at a later date. If possible an Alcometer reading should be obtained and this should also be immediately uploaded on the internet.
    2. The vehicle should not be permitted to move away from the site till such time another driver is available to drive the vehicle. The statement of the second driver should be taken regarding before permitting the vehicle to depart from the site.
    3. On receipt of the report the Transport Department should cease the driving License of the individual with immediate effect and the driver should be made to obtain a learners license and a permanent license.
    4. In case the drunken driver is a bus driver in addition to ceasing the driving license of the driver, the Certificate of Registration of the Vehicle and the Insurance Policy of the bus would stand cancelled for employing a drunken driver. This would be sufficient deterrence to the bus owners in employing drunken drivers in their buses.
    5. In case the drunken driver is driving a School Bus, the Certificate of Registration and the Insurance Policy of the School Bus would be renewed only after a hiatus of three months.
    6. The above measures would serve as a great deterrence to the drunken drivers and the roads would be safe.

    CONDITION OF THE ROADS.

    1. It is seen that the Government is spending huge sums of public money in laying roads and the roads are observed to be damaged within a short span of time. The following is recommended to improve the condition of the roads.
    2. The following details regarding the roads should be available on the internet.
    a. Date of laying the road/ undertaking repairs to the road.
    b. Full details of the Contractor who carried out repairs to the road.
    c. Full details of the Government Engineer who certified the road.
    d. Details of the expenditure incurred.
    3. Once the above is readily available on the internet everyone would be vigilant and the condition of the roads would automatically improve.

    Yours sincerely,

    Commander P Kondal Rao, (Retired)
    Email: – “pkondalrao@rediffmail.com.
    Tel: 9393101777
    45-54-8, Abid Nagar, Akkayypalem
    Visakhapatnam 530016
    Andhra Pradesh.

    Reply
    • N V SIVARAMA KRISHNA

      good suggestions sir

      Reply
  2. Shikha

    Hope this will make a change

    Reply
  3. Rehan

    This will be good for bike riders

    Reply

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