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New amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act

New amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act

Tag:GS3||Economy ||Infrastructure||Transport

Why in news?

  • Recently, The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act is passed by the Parliament It is based on the recommendations of the Group of Transport Ministers of States.
  • The act seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act,1988 to provide for road safety related to Motor vehicles and penalties for the violations of Regulations.

Salient Features of the Act

  • Compensation for road accident victims: The central government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. The Bill increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases  (i) in case of death, from Rs 25,000 to 2 lakh rupees, and (ii) in case of grievous injury, from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000.
  • Good Samaritans: The Bill defines a good samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident. Such persons Will not be charged with any civil or criminal cases for any injury to or death of an accident victim, caused due to their negligence in providing assistance to the victim.
  • Recall of vehicles: Central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
  • National Transportation Policy: The central government may develop a National Transportation Policy, in consultation with state governments.
  • Road Safety Board: A National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification.  The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management.
  • Offences and penalties: This change created an uproar among the people as it increases penalties for several offences under the Act.
    • The maximum penalty 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 comply with motor vehicle standards, the penalty will be a fine of up to Rs 100 crore, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.
    • If a contractor fails to comply with road design standards, the penalty will be a fine of up to one lakh rupees.  The central government may increase fines mentioned under the Act every year by up to 10%.
    • Guardians of the Juvenile offenders will be held responsible.
  • Taxi aggregators: It defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes. These aggregators will be issued licenses by state  Further, they must comply with the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Consequences

  • The use of the seat belts has increased significantly among bus and truck drivers.
  • There is not much decrease in the road accidents, higher penalties are not so effectively. There is no correlation between Road accidents and penalties.
  • Road designs like number of lanes, width, quality etc. Will influence the behavior of the driver. Standard Road designs can effectively curb the road accidents

Way forward

  • This is indeed a very good legislation that try to reduce the road accidents and ensures safety and it should be implemented properly.
  • Government should invest more in improving the road Infrastructure.