Amended Motor Vehicle Act 2016 sails through Lok Sabha; proposes steep penalties for offenders

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The amended Motor Vehicle Act 2016 has been passed in the current session of the Lok Sabha. Of the 223 sections it features, 68 have been amended, while 28 new sections have been added to the act. When implemented, it should bring about a much needed positive change to the current, grim and dangerous traffic situation in the country. Here’s what it proposes.

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Where third-party victims were earlier compensated with an amount of Rs. 25,000 to 2 lakh, the new act caps that amount to up to Rs. 10 lakh in cases of death. If an accident causes a serious injury to the victim, the compensation has been set to Rs. 5 lakh, where the affected can further appeal for an additional amount or withdraw the case after compensation. Victims of Hit-and Run cases will be compensated with an amount of Rs. 2 lakh, up from the earlier amount of Rs. 25,000.

New guidelines have been implemented to help victims and make life easy for good Samaritans who help save lives. And now comes the interesting bit. The Motor Vehicle Act 2016 proposes steep fines on traffic violators, where parents, owners, guardians will be held guilty and slapped with a fine of Rs. 25,000 with/or a three-year imprisonment, along with cancellation of vehicle registration if a minor is caught driving and is involved in an accident. Driving without a licence will attract a penalty of Rs. 5000 instead of the earlier Rs. 500, drunken driving will attract a penalty of Rs 10,000, and over speeding will result in a receipt of Rs 1,000 for LMVs and Rs 2,000 for passenger vehicles. With inflation considered, the fines will be revised by an additional 10 percent on April 1st every year.

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E-governance will address the menace of vehicle thefts and counterfeit driving licences, wherein the Aadhar system will be linked to two common nationwide registers, one for driving licences and one for vehicle registration. The application process will also witness change, where if there is a delay in the issuance of licence documents, the officials in concern will attract action against them. After applying for a learner’s licence online and once approved fit to drive, the RTO will have 3 days to issue an approved permanent licence. Failing to which, action will be taken against the concerned RTO. Vehicle testing agencies like ARAI will also be covered in the Motor Vehicle Act 2016. Manufacturers of faulty vehicles or those who do not meet required criteria can be penalised by up to Rs 100 crore. The bill will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha next, where if it passes through, it will go the President’s desk for final sign off.

 

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