The Cabinet has approved changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill and has revived the three-decade-old Act with new rules and fines. The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 has asked the license holder to link their driving license and vehicle registration details with Adhaar card. It also proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations.
“We have proposed an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act where people need to have Aadhaar number to apply for driving license and need not visit transport offices to get a learning driving license as it all will be online,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
Stricter penalties are proposed for high-risk offenses such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as use of seat belt, helmets). These are the major changes:
The penalty for drunk driving has been raised to Rs.10,000. And, if there is an accident where the drunk person is behind the wheels and a pedestrian is killed, the driver would then be booked for a non-bail able offense with imprisonment up to 10 years.
A ten-fold increase has been made in the amount of compensation awarded under a simplified process of claims disbursal wherein the family of an accident victim would get compensation of Rs 5 lakh (first 25,000) in case of serious injury and 10 lakhs (first 50,000) in case of death, as settlement within four months of the accident. Presently it takes at least four to five years for an award.
In the accidental death cases arising from a hit and run accidents, the bill proposes an increase of compensation to Rs 2 Lakh, an eight-fold increase over current. For car owners found handing over vehicles to juveniles, registration of the vehicle will be canceled and, in a case of an accident by the juvenile, his or her family will be fined up to Rs 25,000 with or without imprisonment up to three years. Also, the learner’s license would be granted through Aadhar-based verification.
Drivers who don’t wear a helmet while driving bikes and scooters would be fined Rs 1,000 and their license would be canceled for three months. Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000.