‘Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019’

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    13th Aug, 2019

Parliament has passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 to make Indian roads safer.

Need of amendment

  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 was unable to meet the needs of rising travel demand, fast-paced motorisation, major shifts in technology and deteriorating road safety.
  • Last mile connectivity and accessibility for rising population is an issue.

Context

Parliament has passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 to make Indian roads safer.

Need of amendment

  • Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 was unable to meet the needs of rising travel demand, fast-paced motorisation, major shifts in technology and deteriorating road safety.
  • Last mile connectivity and accessibility for rising population is an issue.
  • Rural transport needed a significant reform.
  • Rising road accidents and related deaths without any
  • Rising corruption in the transport office.
  • Rising cab aggregators without any proper guidelines.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Bill has amended the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to provide for road safety.

Salient features of the Act are:

  • Road safety: The bill has increased penalties for traffic violations and offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. Penalty to be increased by 10% every year.
  • Vehicle Fitness: The Bill has mandated automated fitness testing to reduce corruption for vehicles and introduced penalty for deliberate violation of safety/ environmental regulations.
  • Recall of vehicles: Defective vehicles will be compulsorily recalled. The manufacturer will either will reimburse for full cost or replace the defective vehicle.
  • Road Safety Board: A National Road Safety Board will be created to advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management.
  • Protection of Good Samaritan: The bill defines ‘Good Samaritan’ is defined as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to road accident victims. Guidelines have been incorporated to prevent their
  • Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour e. the time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest.
  • Compulsory insurance: Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to be constituted to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India.
  • The bill also tackle issues like regulation of taxi aggregators, third party insurance and development of a National Transportation Policy and improving Services using digitalisation and e-Governance.
  • The vehicle owner or the guardian will be held in case of traffic violations by Aadhar has been made mandatory for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration.

Way forward

  • Centre must present its National Transport Policy without delay.
  • States must be incentivised and use modern management practices to provide clean, comfortable and affordable services for all users, including people with disabilities.
  • Effective implementation is required as zero tolerance enforcement of even small fines reduces violations, while stringent penalties are either not enforced or lead to more bribery.

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