Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
The Economic Times

The bill that is about to change your driving habits forever

The bill that is about to change your driving habits forever
Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000, up sharply from the current Rs 500.
The way India drives may be finally set to change. Reports have revealed that the Road Transport and Highways ministry is likely to approve the changes proposed in the Motor Vehicles Bill at its next meeting.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill contains a range of provisions that will go a long way in making Indian roads safer. It was being opposed by various opposition parties for curtailing the powers of states and favouring corporates.

The bill, which seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has already been passed in the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Once passed, it will have a radical impact on your life on the road.

The contents of the bill will remain the same, according to sources, with Aadhaar likely to become mandatory for getting licences and registration certificates. It seeks to computerise licencing authorities in order to introduce a uniform registration process across states.

According to media reports, the bill may also bring in automated fitness testing for transport vehicles, besides a host of other big-bang pollution-curbing measures.

Among other things, the new law will bring into its ambit third-party insurers and cab aggregators. It also looks to set up a National Road Safety Board.

Violators are sought to be imposed with heavy fines that could go up to as high as Rs 1 lakh, which could further be raised 10 times by state governments, according to an ETAuto report.

The most revolutionary types of changes on the cards include: (a) huge increase in fines for various kinds of traffic violations, (b) making car owners criminally liable for accidents/violations caused by juveniles, (c) recall of defective car parts by auto companies, (d) holding companies accountable for poor build quality, (e) protection of good samaritans.

Listed below are the most important ones among the measures proposed by this vital bill.

— The government will provide compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim's family in cases of hit-and-run fatalities. The current provision is just for Rs 25,000.

— In cases of traffic violations by juveniles, the guardian/owner of the car will be held responsible — unless they can prove that the offence was committed without their knowledge or they tried to prevent it. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. The registration of the vehicle involved will stand cancelled.

— Minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. The penalty for rash driving has been hiked from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.

— Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 (it's Rs 500 at present). Over-speeding will set you back by Rs 1,000-2,000 (currently Rs 400). Driving without wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 at present.

— Talking on mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 5,000, up sharply from the current Rs 1,000.

— A Motor Vehicle Accident Fund will provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in the country for certain types of accidents.

— Vehicles whose components/engine do not meet the required standards will have to be recalled. Manufacturers can be fined up to Rs 500 crore over sub-standard components or engine.

— A 6-month time limit has been specified for applying for compensation to the Claims Tribunal in road accident cases.

— Aadhaar will be compulsory for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration.

— Civic agencies, contractors, consultants will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads causing accidents.

— The cap on liability for third-party insurance will be removed. The 2016 Bill had put a cap on the maximum liability at Rs 10 lakh for death and Rs 5 lakh for grievous injury.

— The time limit for renewal of driving licence is increased from one month to one year before and after the expiry date.

— There is a provision for protection of Good Samaritans — the ones who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability. It will be optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel.
Stay on top of business news with The Economic Times App. Download it Now!