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Amendment of the Motor Vehicle Law

110

On 31st July 2019, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) of the Indian Parliament passed The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019. This would amend the 30 year old motor vehicle law and thus improve road safety, raise penalties for traffic violations, curb RTO corruption and facilitate citizens in their interactions with transport departments. It would also strengthen rural and public transport as well as improve last mile connectivity through automation, computerization and online services. These measures are expected to transform the transport sector across the country.

Stringent punishments and increased penalties

This legislation ensures stricter punishments for several traffic related offences as well as an increase in penalties.

It also proposes a fine of Rs 10,000 for not giving way to emergency vehicles and Rs 10,000 for driving inspite of disqualification.

For over-speeding, the penalty ranges between Rs 1000 and Rs 2000. Driving without a vehicle insurance cover would be penalized with a fine of Rs 2000. Driving without wearing helmets would attract a penalty of Rs 1000 along with a three month suspension of licence. In case of road offense committed by juveniles, the guardian/owner would be deemed guilty and the registration of the vehicle would be cancelled.

As per the new provisions, "guardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty and there will be a penalty of Rs 25,000 with three years imprisonment and cancellation of registration of the Motor Vehicle". The juvenile would be tried under the JJ Act.

Violating road rules would attract a penalty of Rs 500 compared to Rs 100 earlier. Disobeying orders of authorities will attract a minimum penalty amount of Rs 2000 in place of Rs 500 earlier. The penalty for unauthorized usage of vehicles without licence has been proposed at Rs 5000. Those driving without a licence would have to pay the same amount whereas those found driving despite being disqualified would be fined Rs 10,000.

The penalty amount for driving dangerously will be upto Rs 5,000 Drunken driving would attract a fine of Rs 10,000 under the proposed law.

Aggregators penalty for violation of licensing conditions will range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1,00,000

Here are some of the proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill – 2019

 

Section

Offense

Old Provision / Penalty

New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties

 

177

General

Rs 100

Rs 500

 

New 177A

Rules of road regulation violation

Rs 100

Rs 500

 

178

Travel without ticket

RS 200

Rs 500

 

179

Disobedience of orders of authorities

Rs 500

Rs 2000

 

180

Unautorized use of vehicles without licence

Rs 1000

Rs 5000

 

181

Driving without licence

Rs 500

Rs 5000

 

182

Driving despite disqualification

Rs 500

Rs 10,000

 

182 B

Oversize vehicles

New

Rs 5000

 

183

Over speeding

Rs 400

Rs 1000 for LMV Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle

 
 
 

184

Dangerous driving penalty

Rs 1000

Up to Rs 5000 

 

185

Drunken driving

Rs 2000

Rs 10,000

 

189

Speeding / Racing

Rs 500

Rs 5,000

 

192 A

Vehicle without permit

Up to Rs 5000

Upto Rs 10,000

 

193

Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions)

New

Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000

 
 
 

194

Overloading

Rs 2000 and Rs 1000 per extra tonne

Rs 20,000 and Rs 2000 per extra tonne

 
 
 

194 A

Overloading of passengers

 

Rs 1000 per extra passenger

 

194 B

Seat belt

Rs 100

Rs 1000

 

194 C

Overloading of two wheelers

Rs 100

Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence

 

194 D

Helmets

Rs 100

Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence

 

194 E

Not providing way for emergency vehicles

New

Rs 10,000

 

196

Driving Without Insurance

RS 1000

Rs 2000

 

199

Offences by Juveniles

New

Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled

 

206

Power of Officers to impound documents

 

Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E

 

210 B

Offences committed by enforcing authorities

 

Twice the penalty under the relevant section

 

 

 

Improving road worthiness of vehicles

Automated fitness testing of vehicles has been mandated by this bill. This is likely to reduce corruption in the transport department and improve the fitness of the vehicle. Manufacturers of vehicle body parts and spare parts suppliers will be penalized if they deliberately violate safety/environmental regulations. It is proposed that the process of testing and certifying vehicles would be regulated more effectively. Standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes. The testing agencies that issue automobile approvals have also been bought under the coverage of this Act. This bill will enable the examination of irregularities of vehicle companies. Defective vehicles would be compulsorily recalled.

Recalling vehicles

The bill empowers the Central Government to recall motor vehicles if a defect could cause damage to environment, driver or other road users. The manufacturer of the defective vehicle will be required to:

  1. Reimburse drivers with full cost of the vehicle
  2. Replace defective vehicle with a vehicle having same or better specifications

 

Road Safety Board

The Bill has provided for the creation of a National Road Safety Board by the central government through a notification. This Board will offer advice to central and state governments on all aspects of

a) Managing road safety and traffic including the standards of motor vehicles

b) Licensing and registration of vehicles

c) Road Safety Standards

d) Promoting new vehicle technology.

 

Protection of Good Samaritan

This Bill also incorporates Good Samaritan guidelines to help road accident victims. The 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, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.

Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour

The matter of a road accident victim receiving treatment during the golden hour could be that of life or death.  This Bill provides a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during the golden hour.

 Third Party Insurance

Driver’s attendant has been included in third party insurance by this Bill. There won’t be any cap on liability of insurers.  The insurance compensation has increased ten times from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakhs. The claim process has been simplified.

Claims have to be paid within a month by insurers if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation. The minimum compensation for hit and run cases has been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakhs in the case of death and Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injury.

Motor Vehicle Accident Fund

As per this Bill, the central government is required to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. It will be used for:

  1. Treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme
  2. Compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident
  3. Compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and  compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government.

This Fund will be credited through: payment of a nature notified by the central government,  a grant or loan made by the central government,  balance of the Solatium Fund (existing fund under the Act to provide compensation for hit and run accidents),or any other source as prescribed the central government.

 

Improving Services using e-Governance

One of the major areas on which this bill focuses includes improving delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance. This includes

Provision for online driving licenses.

Online learners licence with mandatory online identity verification will be provided by this bill. Driving tests would be computerized to avoid fake driving licenses. This bill would enforce transparency in RTO offices. Commercial licenses would be valid for upto five years instead of three years. The application for renewal of the licence can be made one year prior to or after licence lapses. More driving training schools would be opened so that the number of efficient drivers increases.

Process of Vehicle Registration

Registration at the end of the dealer is being enabled and restrictions have been imposed on temporary registrations. This will improve the registration process of new vehicles. The Minister has however specified that state transport departments can inspect the vehicles at dealers end.

For streamlining the registration along with licensing process, creation of National Register Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle Registration has been proposed. This would be done via “Vahan” and “Sarathi” platforms. This will facilitate uniformity of processes across the country.

Driver’s Training

The driving training process has been improve enabling the faster issuance of transport licenses.  This will help in overcoming the shortage of commercial drivers in the country. More and more driver training schools and vehicle fitness centres will be opened

Bottlenecks have been removed in respect of grant of driving licenses as well as alterations in the vehicles to facilitate transport solutions for Divyang

Reforms in transportation system and taxi aggregators have not been covered. Please add those points too

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