On April 10, 2017, Lok Sabha passed The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 by voice vote. This bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
This amendment bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2016 which proposed 89 clauses for amendment. It was referred to Parliament Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Mukul Roy, which accepted 57 out of 89 clauses for amendment. On March 31, 2017, the Union Cabinet approved changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as per the suggestions of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
Key Provisions of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016:
- Penalties for traffic rule violations: Hefty penalty has been proposed for serious offences such as overload, dangerous driving, drunken driving and not using seat belt and helmet.
- Violations by Juveniles: Guardian/owner will be held guilty in case of offences committed by juveniles. The juvenile will be tried under Juvenile Justice Act. The vehicle registration will also be cancelled.
- Road Accidents and Insurance: In cases of accidents that occur due to bad road, the contractor will be held liable and will have to pay the fine. Maximum liability for third party insurance in case of a motor accident has been capped at Rs 10 lakh in case of death and at Rs 5 lakh in case of critical injury.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fund: To provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for specific types of accidents.
- Driving Licence: The process of obtaining learning licence will be made online, thereby eliminating the need to visit the transport office. Validity period of driving licences will be increased. Requirement of educational qualification for licences will be done away with.
- Taxi Aggregators: The bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries who act as market place for a passenger willing to commute and a driver willing to serve. Taxi aggregators will be required to obtain licence and will have to comply with provisions of IT Act, 2000.
- Good Samaritans: As per the bill, any person who helps road accident victims should not be subjected to civil or criminal proceedings.
- Provisions for Auto Companies: Auto companies manufacturing faulty vehicles and violating emission norms will have to pay a fine of up to Rs 100 crore. The companies will also have to recall their faulty vehicles and refund the money to buyers.
This bill which aims “to save human lives”, holds lot of significance as every year 5 lakh road accidents take place in India claiming 1.5 lakh lives.The bill will now be introduced in the Rajya Sabha and thereafter will be sent to President for his assent.