In a bid to improve the horrendous state of road safety in the country, the much-awaited and important bill, the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016, has been approved by the Cabinet. The bill proposes heavy fines for traffic violations. Here are the main highlights:
Hit-And-Run: Hit-and-run compensation will go up significantly to ₹2 lakh from the current ₹25,000.
Drunken driving: The fine for drunken driving will go up to ₹10,000.
Speeding: The bill includes penalties ranging from ₹1000 to ₹4000 for over-speeding.
Road fatality: In case of road fatality, there is a provision of compensation of up to ₹10 lakh.
Underage driving: In case of road offenses by juveniles, the "guardian" or owner of the vehicle will be held responsible with a fine of ₹25,000 with three years imprisonment and cancellation of registration of the vehicle.
Driving without insurance: Driving without insurance will be punishable with a ₹2,000 fine and, or a three-month jail time.
Riding without helmets: Riding without helmets will result in ₹2,000 fine and three-month suspension of licence.
Jumping the light/other traffic rules violations: Traffic violations will incur a penalty of ₹500, up from ₹100 earlier. Disregarding orders of authorities will result in a minimum fine of ₹2,000, four times of the current ₹500.
Driving without license: The fine for unauthorised use of vehicles without a license will be ₹5,000. While those driving without license will have to shell out the same amount and those found driving even after being barred from driving will face a minimum ₹10,000 fine.
Not wearing seat-belts: ₹1,000 will be slapped for violating this common-sense rule.
Dangerous driving: The fine will go up to ₹5,000 from ₹1,000.
Commercial vehicles: Aggregators found violating lincencing norms will be charged up to ₹1 lakh and overloading of vehicles would result in a fine of ₹20,000.
States government could impose even steeper penalties: State governments have been allowed to modify the fines and specify a multiplier, not less than one and not greater than 10, to be applied to each fine under this Act. That means the fines could be much higher in some states.
Expect more tolls, but safer roads: The government plans to open up around 75 operational national highway projects to private investors such as private equity funds and pension funds that invest in long-term projects, to commercialise these highways. Through toll collection, the government hopes to make 55,000 to ₹60,000 crore, which it plans to use in the maintenance of highways, and build new ones.
India has one of the worst road safety records, with over 400 deaths occurring every day, and over five lakh road accidents every year in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. With this bill, the government hopes to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent. The proposed fines from violating of traffic norms were based on the recommendations of transport ministers from 18 states.
With PTI inputs