Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The Lok Sabha has passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill was introduced on April 7 in the Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to address issues such as third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, and road safety.
What is the Bill all about?
- The provisions of the Bill talk about improved citizen centric services, reducing the number of accidents and several steps proposed to reduce the footfalls to regional transport offices (RTO).
- The bill proposes hefty penalties for various traffic offences, three-year jail term for parents of minors caught driving and causing fatal accidents, and a ten-fold increase in compensation for the families of accident victims, among other things.
Background of the Bill
The changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, were approved by the Union cabinet on March 31. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha last August and was referred to a parliamentary standing committee, whose suggestions have been endorsed by the Union Cabinet.
The bill introduced in Parliament last year had proposed 89 clauses for amendment out of which only 57 were accepted by the Parliament Standing Committee on Transport.
The basic aim of the bill is “to save human lives”,as a whopping five lakh accidents take place every year claiming around 1.5 lakh lives across the country.
Highlights of the Bill
- Offenses such as driving without a license which had a penalty of Rs 500 before will now attract a fine of Rs 5000. Driving with a disqualified license which attracted a penalty of Rs 500 before will now cost you Rs 10,000.
- The bill seeks to make services like issuance of license totally transparent and online and provides for punitive action against officials in case of delay in issuing of the document to eligible applicants.
- Union government must frame National Transportation Policy, in consultation with the states.
- It empowers Union government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defects in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
- It is mandatory for Union government to constitute Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India.
- Union government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. It defines golden hour as the time period of up to an hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest.
- The bill increases the compensation for death in a hit and run case from to Rs two lakh or more from Rs 25,000, as prescribed by the Union government.
- The Bill defines a good samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at scene of an accident in good faith, voluntary and without the expectation of any reward. Good samaritans will not be held liable for any criminal or civil action for any injury to or death of an accident victim.
- The Bill provides for the computerization of certain services to improve delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance. It also proposes Aadhar based verification for grant of online services including learner’s licence to ensure the integrity of the online services and stop creation of duplicate licences.
- The owner or guardian will be deemed guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles. Juvenile will be tried under JJ Act and the registration of Motor Vehicle will be cancelled.