The bill provides for compulsory recall of defective vehicles if a defect may cause damage to the environment, driver, or other road users.
New Delhi: Zip, zap, zoom on roads, driving without documents and not adhering to traffic rules is no more fun and sign of machoism now. The government within first 100 days in power has brought in Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 to strengthened old provisions with stricter penalties and hefty fines. New areas too have been identified and covered to infuse a sense of responsibility and safety among people.
While there are several jokes circulating on social media with regard to the hefty penalty — like Rs 23,000 that some have been asked to pay for flouting rules — government believes that heavy fines will act as a deterrent against traffic violations and lead to more disciplined conduct on road.
In fact, stricter provisions have been made for offences like juvenile driving, drunken-driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. Besides, stricter norms for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations. The penalty regarding motor vehicles will be increased by 10% every year.
The new law also mandates for automated fitness testing of vehicles and penalty will be imposed for deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations by body builders and spare part suppliers. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have also been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards have been set for motor vehicle testing institutes.
The bill provides for compulsory recall of defective vehicles if a defect may cause damage to the environment, driver, or other road users. The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or (replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better specifications.
To help road accident victims, good samaritan guidelines as given by the Supreme Court of India have been incorporated so that people can provide emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, without harassment from police.
The new law also provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. It includes driver’s attendant in 3rd party insurance and there will be no cap on liability of insurers. Claim process has been simplified and insurance firms have to pay claims within a month and increases minimum compensation for hit and run cases. A motor vehicle accident fund will be created by union government to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India and provide compensation for hit and run accidents.
The new law for the first time provides guidelines for aggregators and taxis since there were no rules in many states for regulating them.
The new law defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). It also brings transparency in issuing driving license.
The bill for the new Act was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 15, 2019 and was passed by it on July 23. It was passed by Rajya Sabha on July 31. It got President’s nod on August 9. The penalties on traffic violations and are effective from September 1.