Alarming statistics on fatal road accidents and injuries on Indian roads has prompted Lok Sabha to pass the Motor Vehicle Bill which imposes hefty fines on traffic violators. In view of the growing number of minors being involved in traffic offences as fatal accidents, the new bill now holds parents or the guardians responsible, along with a three-year jail term in addition to the cancellation of the vehicle’s registration. The new bill proposes to amend 68 out of the 223 sections in the current Motor Vehicle Act.
Prior to implementation, the proposed legislation has to be approved by the Rajya Sabha. The new regulation will also feature additional measures to protect good Samaritans along with checking for fake driving licence. The bill also holds vehicle manufacturers responsible for design defects, recall of faulty vehicles and maintenance agencies or contractors accountable for road deaths and injuries due to flaws. Such agencies will have to pay a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. Interestingly, the bill has proposed a 10-time increase in compensation to families of the accident victim. The government plans to indirectly put a cap on insurance compensation where victims or their kin agree to Rs 2.5 lakh for grievous injuries and Rs 5 lakh for death. In such cases, they can’t pursue the case in the Motor Vehicles Claims Tribunal (MACT). Fatal victims from hit-and-run accidents will receive a compensation amount of Rs 2 lakh.
Supporting the amendment, Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari further added that victims who have issues accepting the compensation offered by insurance companies will be free to pursue the case in MACT and in those cases, the insurance companies will pay the entire amount awarded. Recently, it has been decreed that learner’s licence application will be accepted online, while in the case of approved permanent licence, the RTO will have three days to issue the final document to the applicant. Failing which, action will be taken against the concerned RTO.