Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019 regulates all aspects of Road Transport Vehicles. This Amendment makes sweeping changes to existing law. The amendment comes nearly 30 years after the Indian Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1988. It has been introduced with features of a new set of rules and fines.

India remains one of the topmost accident-prone nations in the world. As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways data 1.47 lakh, people lost their lives due to Road Accidents in 2017. It is the need of the hour with these new rules and regulations to make Indian road users safer.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

DESIDERATUM

  • It aims to make India’s roads safer.
  • It can reduce deaths due to road accidents.
  • Impose stiffer penalties for a road rule violation.
  • It weeds out corruption from the system.
  • Tougher action against road rules violators.
  • It is set to redefine the driving pattern of the Indian motorists.
  • Ensuring driver, rider and pedestrian safety on the road in the long run.

CASTIGATING COST

Heavy fines for offences levied on drivers if they are jumping signals and the rules governed. The Act proposes to crack down on several road violations with a weighty hike in fines. The Act locks provisions for more serious violations like road rage. 

  • For rage driving, the drivers are penalized from Rs.400 to Rs.1000-2000.
  • Drunken drivers have been charged with Rs.10,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year for the first offence and also the seizure of driving license and for the subsequent offence Rs.15,000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 years.
  • And for drivers without a license from earlier Rs. 500 to present Rs.5000.
  • Not wearing a seat belt will invite a penalty of Rs 1,000 which has been increased from Rs 100.
  • For dangerous rage driving, the penalty is Rs 5,000 from earlier 1000.
  • Not giving a pass to emergency vehicles like ambulance will also charge Rs 10,000 and/or community service as there was no such provision under the previous law.
  • For using expired vehicle’s insurance coverage will be penalized Rs 2,000.
  • Violations of license conditions by aggregators it will mean a penalty of Rs.25000 to 1 lakh.
  • Overloading would lead to a penalty of Rs.20000 and Rs.200 per extra tonne and/or community service.
  • Dangerous driving and jumping red lights will charge ₹ 1,000 to ₹ 5,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year for first offence and seizure of driving license. For the subsequent offence ₹ 10,000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 years.
  • For overloading of 2 wheelers penalty is Rs.2000 and license disqualification for 3 months and/or community service.
  • Oversized vehicles will be penalized to be charged with Rs.5000 to Rs.10000 and/or community service.

To further discourage offences, the fines will be increased by 10% every 3 years.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

DEFAULTERS BEING DISCIPLINED

It is building up the mindset in the compliance of the people. In so far as the amendment goes it is just laudable referring to provisions such as Section 161[1], 199A[2], 134A[3].

The Act also has provisions for Juvenile Offenders- It will penalise the owners or guardians with 3 years imprisonment and penalty of Rs.25, 000. A Juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and the guardian curbs the liability if the Juvenile is with a learning license.

RATIONAL REPARATION

1. The Compensation of victims in hit and run cases has been hiked strung below.

  • In case of death- Rs.25000 to Rs.2 lakhs
  • In case of Grievous injury- Rs.12500 to Rs.25000
  • Penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol – Rs.2000 to Rs.10000

2.Compensation to representatives of persons who died in a hit and run accident.

3.Compensation to persons grievously hurt in a hit and run accident.

4.Compensation to any person prescribed by the Central Government.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

PROMINENT PECULIARITIES

  • Good news for Good Samaritans- Good Samaritans Policy who helps victims will not be liable for any civil or criminal will not be harassed. This will help in raising awareness across the country. They also can choose not to disclose their identity to the police and/or medical personnel.
  • Automobile manufacturers can be ordered to recall vehicles in case of a defect that causes damage to the environment. Manufacturers’ can attract a fine of up to Rs.500 in case of sub-standard components or engines.
  • Fixing Accountability- Road contractors can be penalized for faulty road designs. In case of faulty designs and construction or poor maintenance of roads which lead to accidents, contractors, civic agencies and consultants will be held accountable. The Government can also recall vehicles that have components or engines which do not meet the required standards.
  • Obtaining a Driving License will also get tougher.  The National Register of Driving License will be created to make the transfer a week states easier
  • Relief for Renewal of License-An individual can apply for renewal of driving license any time between one year before its expiry and up to one after its expiry. If delayed more than a year the driver has to undergo a test of competence.
  • Technology-driven Drivers Tests- Drivers Tests will be technology-driven to curb any chances of Corruption manipulation.
  • Treatment of Taxi Aggregators- the Act has also provisions for taxi aggregators who were unregulated earlier. At present, through the amendment act, they have to comply with the Information Technology Act 2000. The Government has the power to regulate taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola.
  • The Central Government authorizes to constitute the Motor Vehicle Act fund and Compulsory Insurance cover to all road users in India. This can be utilized for one treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme. Thus the Act proposes cashless treatment of accident victims during the golden hour.
  • National Transportation Policy- Central Government established a planning framework for passenger and goods transportation within which transport bodies could operate. The policy framework is for grants of permits and schemes.
  • Online Identity Verification- Aadhaar is mandatory for receiving a driving license and vehicle registration.
  • One of the notable features of the Act is that it is mandatory to alter vehicles suitable for differently able persons.
  • Path to Life Impact- the Act ensures the life of a person in an emergency. Anyone blocking ambulance will be fined Rs.10,000 as traffic defaulters.

ANALOGOUS APPRAISAL

Many states have decided not to implement the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act sighting steep penalties. Levy of harsher fines in poor pockets. However, Some experts critique that this may only lead to a rise in corruption due to higher fines. Some States referred to it as overburdening people and lead to higher levels of corruption. The proposed amendments will dilute the powers of State government, favour corporate and leave the common man in the lurch. It will affect workshops. The cab drivers can work only for 8 hours a day. The Union Transport Minister deferred from what unconvinced the States. So that higher penalties under amendment render states undertaken expansive deliberations and the key objective is to increase the road discipline.

POWER TO PERMUTE

As per Informatics Centre (NIC) database, 38,39,406 traffic challans in 18 states were issued since September 1. The total challans have been issued for Rs 5,77,51,79,895. Tamil Nadu has the highest number of challans at 14, 13,996, while the least was issued in Goa at 58. In fact, the same fine in the same states of a country is not been effectively implemented and so different fines in different states are properly lined up. However, Section 201(6) enhances the power to states to reduce penalties.           

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

COMMENDATIONS TO CARRY-OUT

A heavy fine in the very beginning is not imposed. The challans are being referred to courts; meanwhile, the revenue details are not available there.  The Court is the ultimate fine imposing panel. Indeed the court doesn’t necessarily impose the most maximum; it can decide whatever the amount may be. Technology-based Camera is being used to better enforce the act.

Compounding powers granted to police. Yet a long time is taken for the proceedings to come into effect. The Government would function to ensure effective implementation of the Act.

CONCLUSION

Life is more important than Money”, says Nitin Gadkari, Union Transport Minister

Despite the good intention behind the stricter penalties several states were opposing it. It is a cascading effect or burden to poor then why should he commit it. “If one does not break the law, why will he need to pay a fine?” Bt it took time for people to comply with the new rules.

If people will have fear of law, only then will they follow rules“, said Nitin Gadkari.


[1] Section 161. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any instrument having the force of law, the Central Government shall provide for paying in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the scheme made under sub-section (3), compensation in respect of the death of, or grievous hurt too, persons resulting from hit and run motor accidents. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the scheme made under sub-section (3), there shall be paid as compensation,— (a) in respect of the death of any person resulting from a hit and run motor accident, a fixed sum of two lakh rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government; (b) in respect of grievous hurt to any person resulting from a hit and run motor accident, a fixed sum of fifty thousand rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government. (3) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make a scheme specifying the manner in which the scheme shall be administered by the Central Government or General Insurance Council, the form, manner and the time within which applications for compensation may be made, the officers or authorities to whom such applications may be made, the procedure to be followed by such officers or authorities for considering and passing orders on such applications, and all other matters connected with, or incidental to, the administration of the scheme and the payment of compensation under this section. (4) A scheme made under sub-section (3) may provide that,— (a) a payment of such sum as may be prescribed by the Central Government as interim relief to any claimant under such scheme; (b) a contravention of any provision hereof shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but may extend to five lakh rupees or with both; (c) the powers, functions or duties conferred or imposed on any officer or authority by such scheme may be delegated with the prior approval in writing of Central Government, by such officer or authority to any other officer or authority.

[2]199A. (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a juvenile, the guardian of such juvenile or the owner of the motor vehicle shall be deemed to be guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall render such guardian or owner liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the Court shall presume that the use of the motor vehicle by the juvenile was with the consent of the guardian of such juvenile or the owner of the motor vehicle, as the case may be. (2) In addition to the penalty under sub-section (1), such guardian or owner shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with a fine of twenty-five thousand rupees. (3) The provisions of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) shall not apply to such guardian or owner if the juvenile committing the offence had been granted a learner’s licence under section 8 or a driving licence and was operating a motor vehicle which such juvenile was licensed to operate. (4) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a juvenile, the registration of the motor vehicle used in the commission of the offence shall be cancelled for a period of twelve months. (5) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a juvenile, then, notwithstanding section 4 or section 7, such juvenile shall not be eligible to be granted a driving licence under section 9 or a learner’s licence under section 8 until such juvenile has attained the age of twenty-five years. (6) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a juvenile, then such juvenile shall be punishable with such fines as provided in the Act while any custodial sentence may be modified as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.

[3]134A. (1) A Good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury to or death of the victim of an accident involving a motor vehicle, where such injury or death resulted from the Good Samaritan’s negligence in acting or failing to act while rendering emergency medical or non-medical care or assistance. (2) The Central Government may by rules provide for the procedure for questioning or examination of the Good Samaritan, disclosure of personal information of the Good Samaritan and such other related matters. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “Good Samaritan” means a person, who in good faith, voluntarily and without expectation of any reward or compensation renders emergency medical or non-medical care or assistance at the scene of an accident to the victim or transports such victim to the hospital.”

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