Decoded: The proposed Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill

The core of the proposed amendments in the Bill is to make the Indian roads safer and reduce accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years.

Decoded: The proposed Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill

The Lok Sabha passed the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on April 10, 2017. The existing Bill is almost three decades old and, therefore, it needs revisions to meet the modern-day situation. The core of the proposed amendments in the Bill is to make the Indian roads safer and reduce accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years.

Fact of the matter - Every year five lakh road accidents are reported in India in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives.

The proposed Bill with amendments is now in Rajya Sabha, and once it gets the nod from the upper house, it shall reach the Hon'ble President for approval.

Highlights of the proposed Bill:

-Fine for driving without a valid licence to be increased ten folds; from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000

-Fine for drunken driving to be increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000

-Fine for driving without helmet proposed to increase from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 with the licence being disqualified for three months

-Cab aggregators to come under the scanner with violations of licencing conditions resulting in penalty

-Fine of Rs 10,000 for not providing way to emergency vehicles

-Juvenile offenders to be tried under JJ Act and guardian/owner be deemed guilty of the offence

Here's a low down on the proposed Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

 No more Temporary Registration - Registration at the dealer end is proposed with restrictions on temporary registration which should result in quicker delivery of new vehicles. In case the entire process goes online, the chances are that one may be automatically allocated registration numbers, which will also restrict putting forward choice for having a particular registration number on your car – until you take the official way that is.

Get learner's licence and renew DL validity online – e-Governance is something that the ruling party is pushing on. The Bill proposes online registration for learner's licence and renewal of DL. We expect to hear about more processes going online – fingers crossed!

Uniformity in processes – The Bill proposes to maintain a National Register for Driving Licence and Vehicle Registration so that the process for obtaining these is the same nationwide. “Sarathi” and “Vahan” platforms will ensure uniformity of the process. So, the process of getting a DL from a rural authority will be the same as getting one from any metro city.

Underage driving will be dealt strictly – The proposed Bill will hold the Guardian/vehicle owner guilty in case of juvenile offences and the juvenile will be tried under the JJ Act. The registration of the motor vehicle in question will also be cancelled!

Differently-abled friendly – The proposed Bill aims to eliminate bottlenecks for getting DL and registering vehicles with alterations for Divyang.

Fines – The Bill raises the penalties for various offences and also proposes that the State Government can specify a multiplier, not less than one and not greater than ten, to be applied to each fine. So, the fine amount will vary from state to state. The Bill proposes fine for oversized vehicles, cab aggregators, not providing the way for emergency vehicles and offences for juveniles.

Hit & Run cases – The compensation for victims of Hit & Run cases will increase from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakh if the Bill is passed. The Bill also has provision for payment of compensation up to Rs 10 lakh in road accident fatalities.

For the helping hands – Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill so that more help can be extended to road accident victims. Once the Bill is passed, there will be a clearer picture on these guidelines.

Commercial segment – Commercial driver training process would be strengthened, and the process may become smoother and quicker. There will also be automated fitness testing for transport vehicles. Deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations will incur penalties.