– By Kritika Malik.
The motor vehicles (amendment) bill was introduced for discussion last year to decrease road accident related fatalities by 50%. Every year, there are about 5 lakh accidents in India which cause about 1.5 lakh deaths. The bill aims to amp up the road safety standards in India.
The bill, which was referred to the Standing committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture for review on 26th August 2016 has finally got its report after nearly 5 months on 8th February 2017.
68 amendments have been made to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 and 28 new sections have been added to the act which is now regarded old and inadequate.
These changes are going to hit the general public hard when the bill is actually passed and that time may not be too far, there has already been a spam message dated 21 February 2017 that says that the bill will be passed soon and the spam message is taking rounds on WhatsApp.
The easily dodged offences now have a mind-numbing amount as penalty. The fines on offences have been reportedly increased drastically. Some fines have been increased by 20 times their previous penalty given in the 1988 act!
Apart from increase in penalty, the amendments also focus on other safety aspects like the uniformity of the road signs in the nation, uniform and mandatory tests to gauge competence of a new driving license holder, a national register for driving license and vehicle registration, to name a few.
The bill also focuses on stricter punishment for juvenile and/or underage driving, drunken driving, over-speeding, dangerous driving, etc.
Here is a list of a few offences and their amended penalties under the motor vehicles act :
Some of the new sections added are :
Will increasing the penalties actually affect the road safety standards in India? And who is to fight the easy way out of bribing the officers?
But for all those answers, we need to wait for the bill to get passed which has been hanging around for far too long, now.
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