The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 108 votes and 13 against. The Bill seeks to eliminate corruption in the transport sector, improve road safety, and use technology to manage traffic better. Govt Says “We are soon going to bring a law which will make it mandatory to link Aadhaar with driving licence.”
Here are ten points of the automotive Bill:
Road Safety: The Bill proposes to increase penalties to act as a deterrent against traffic violations. Strict provisions are being offered in respect of offenses like juvenile driving, drunk driving, driving without a licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading, etc. Strict provisions have been introduced for helmets with requirements for electronic detection of violations. Penalties related to motor vehicles are to be increased by 10 percent per year.
Vehicle Health: The Bill mandates automatic fitness testing for vehicles to reduce corruption in the Transport Department while improving the roadworthiness of vehicles. Provisions for safety / environmental regulations, as well as penalties for willful violations of bodybuilders and spare part suppliers.
Recall of vehicles: The Bill allows the Central Government to order the recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle can cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
Offenses and Penalties: Penalties for many crimes under the Bill Act increase. The maximum fine for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. If a vehicle manufacturer fails to follow motor vehicle standards, the fine will be a fine of up to Rs 100 crore or imprisonment up to one year or both. If a contractor fails to follow the road design standards, the fine will be up to Rs 1 lakh. The Central Government may increase the penalty mentioned under this Act by up to 10% every year.
Protection of Good Samaritan: To help road accident victims, Good Samaritan Guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill. The Bill defines a good Samaritan as a person who provides emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the time of an accident and provides rules to prevent the harassment of such person.
Cashless treatment during the Golden Age: The Bill provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during the Golden Age.
Third-Party Insurance: The Bill includes the driver’s attendant in 3rd party insurance. There will be no limit on the liability of insurance companies. Insurance compensation will increase 10 times, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. The claim process has been simplified. If the aggrieved family agrees to accept compensation of Rs 5 lakh, the insurance companies will have to pay the claims within a month. The Bill also increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases from Rs 25,000 to Rs two lakh, and increases from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000 in case of serious injury.
Provision for online driving license: The Bill provides for online learner’s licence with compulsory online identity verification driving test to avoid fake driving license commercial license will be valid for five years instead of three to be computerized. An application for renewal can be made one year before or after the license lapse. Driver training schools will be opened so that more skilled drivers are available. An official statement said that the Bill approved by the Rajya Sabha made online identity verification basis mandatory for obtaining driving licenses to ban fake licence. Minister Nitin Gadkari had estimated that about 30 percent of the licence in the country are bogus.
Vehicle registration process: To improve the registration process for new vehicles, dealer end registration is being enabled, and temporary registration is banned.
Taxi aggregator: The Bill defines aggregator as digital middlemen or market places that can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services). The Bill provides guidelines for aggregators. Currently, there are no regulations in many states to regulate aggregators, taxis, etc.