Motor Vehicles Bill was tabled and passed by the Lok Sabha but lapsed due to non-passage by the Rajya Sabha in 2018 is again tabled in the Parliament for its approval.
- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Road Transport.
- If passes, the will amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
- The new Bill has many proposals ranging from compensation to the accident victims to third party insurance.
- It aims to make our roads safer and secure.
- The bill proposes hefty fines for traffic
- Rs. 1,000 fine for not wearing seatbelt or helmet.
- Over-speeding will attract Rs. 5000 fine. Currently, it is Rs. 500.
- Drunken driving will attract Rs. 10000 fine.
- Some new provisions include Rs. 10000 fine for not giving way for emergency services.
- Issuing driving licences will be changed with the new Bill. It makes Aadhar mandatory for applying for driving licence and vehicle registration. The validity of the licence will be brought down to 10 years from the current 20 years. Also, people above the age of 55 years applying for DL, it will be eligible for 5 years.
- The Bill recognises cab aggregators like Ola and Uber. It defines them as a digital intermediary or market place. State governments are entitled to give licences to such aggregators based on the guidelines framed by the Union government. Aggregators are also mandated to adhere to the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- As per the new Bill, the Central government can recall vehicles under certain circumstances. Also, the manufacturer of the car will be asked to either pay the full cost of the car or replace it.
- In case of a motor accident, the third-party liability will now be Rs. 10 lakhs in case of death and Rs. 5 lakh in case of grievous injury. The insurance companies are allowed to pay only up to this amount. But, the Bill allows paying any amount set by the Courts as compensation. The government will set the minimum premium to be paid.
- In case of a juvenile with no learner’s licence causes an accident, the liability will be on the guardian or the parent. They are punishable with imprisonment which may be extended to three years along with a fine of Rs. 25000.
- The bill also proposes to develop a National Transportation Policy on the transportation of goods and passengers in the country.
- Members of the opposition allege that the Bill takes away the decision making powers of the states.
- To counter this, the union government has stated that the states have flexibility in implementing the act and it does not take away their rights.
Conclusion In our country, 5 lakh people are injured in road accidents every year. The Ministry of Road Transport has made road safety its utmost priority. The Bill when becomes as Act will rectify the shortcomings in the present Act and make our roads safer.