The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 to improve road safety in the country. As every year 5, lakh road accidents are reported in the country in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. The Government has committed to reducing the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years. So in order to address the issue of road safety, a draft Road Transport & Safety Bill was prepared soon after NDA Government came to power. The bill proposes to increase penalties for traffic violations to as deterrent measure. The bill also has stricter provisions for offenses like juvenile driving, drunken driving and driving without licence.
In the present Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 Sections out of which the Bill aims to amend 68 sections whereas Chapters 10 has been deleted and a Chapter 11 is being replaced with new provisions to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process. The Bill also proposes insertion of 28 new sections. The amendments mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the Transport Department. Strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services. The important provisions include increase in compensation for Hit & Run cases from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. It also has provision for payment of compensation upto Rs 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities. Driving without insurance will attract 2,000 rupees fine and/or imprisonment, two thousand rupees fine and licence suspension for helmet-less driving. Besides, for drunken driving steep penalty of up to 10,000 rupees has been proposed.