Times are changing, our roads are not, but the way we drive is surely about to change. The Government has drafted a new Road Safety and Transport Bill and if they manage to get it passed in both the houses and implement it, get ready to tame the wild driver within yourself. The new draft proposes steep penalties on offenders which includes a minimum imprisonment for 7 years along with a fine of Rs 3 lakh for an offence, which might cause the death of a child in a road related accident. It also proposes a fine of Rs 5 lakh per vehicle as well as imprisonment for faulty manufacturing design, besides cancellation of licences for rash and negligent driving. Driving your vehicle in unsafe conditions, which we guess is a state where the tail lights aren’t functional or your mirrors might be dangling will attract a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment for six months which may extend to one year or both.
Tipsy driving will attract a fine of Rs 25,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or with both, and a six-month license suspension. If caught reeking of alcohol at the wheel for a second time within a span of three years from the first offence, it will result in Rs 50,000 penalty or imprisonment for up to one year or both and a one year license suspension. If you still don’t give up on your cocktail of alcohol and petrol, it will result in the cancellation of your licence, and impounding of the vehicle which may extend for 30 days. School bus drivers who are caught driving drunk will have to shell out a fine of Rs 50,000 with imprisonment for three years while “immediate cancellation” of licence will take place in case of drivers in the age-group of 18 to 25 years involved in such incidences. Violating traffic signal three times will result in Rs 15,000 fine, licence cancellation for a month and a compulsory refresher training.
The bill also has provision for a point system for imposing fines. The Road and Surface Transport ministry has sought comments from public and stakeholders on the Bill and will thereafter finalise it for presentation to Parliament during the forthcoming winter session. We’d like to suggest another provision, where anybody who lets their pets loose on the road should be fined too. Have a suggestion? Let us know in the comments section below, we can all try and forward them to the new savvy government via their online channels.