The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016. As per the proposed Bill, there will be hefty penalties for traffic violation, including a fine of Rs. 10,000 for drunk driving and Rs. 2 lakh for hit and run.
Every year, numerous accidents take place on indian roads and around 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. The government has taken the above step to bring down the number by 50 percent in the next five years.
The present Motor Vehicle Act has 223 sections and out of which the new bill aims to amend 68 sections. Also, Chapter 10 has been deleted and Chapter 11 has been introduced, which has new provisions to simplify and claim third party insurance.
The important inclusion is the increase of compensation for hit and run case, from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. There is also an inclusion of payment of Rs. 10 lakh for accident fatality.
The new Bill includes 28 new sections added. It primarily focuses on road safety and people's facilitation to deal with public transport. It to make rural transport stronger, offer last mile connectivity, and enabling online services.
It will grant states to grant exemptions in stage carriage and contract carriage permits to promote rural transport.
Improving delivery of services using e-governance is also a major area of focus. Some features include enabling online learner's licence, longer validity for driver's licence, and also doing away with qualification to obtain a transport driving licence.
Speaking about road safety, there are a lot of changes. Violation fines have been increased and the government is looking to cut down on offences like drunk driving, driving without a valid driver's licence, juvenile driving, over speeding, and overloading among others.
Stricter provisions for helmets have also been introduced.
To make documents uniform, the bill proposes to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through "Vahan" and "Sarathi" platforms. Driving training has also been strengthened to issue transport licence faster.