A bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to impose stiffer penalties for traffic violations as well as address other issues was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Apart from the high penalties for traffic offences, the bill proposes a three-year jail term for parents of minors caught driving and causing fatal accidents, and a ten-fold increase in compensation for the families of accident victims.
The bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to address issues such as third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, and road safety. The Bill provides for a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund which would provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents.
The bill proposes that the guardian or owner of the vehicle shall be deemed to be guilty in cases of offences by juveniles, and a juvenile to be tried under Juvenile Justice Act. Also, registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.
The changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, were approved by the cabinet on 31 March. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha last August and was referred to a parliamentary standing committee, whose suggestions have been endorsed by the Union cabinet.
The bill authorises the government to exempt or waive off any section to promote innovation. The provisions of the bill talk about improved citizen-centric services, steps to reduce the number of accidents and several steps proposed to reduce the footfalls to regional transport offices (RTOs).
The bill says state governments will issue licenses to taxi aggregators as per central government guidelines. Currently, state governments determine guidelines for plying of taxis. There could be cases where state taxi guidelines are at variance with the central guidelines on aggregators.
The bill also limits the maximum liability for third party insurance in case of a motor accident at Rs10 lakh in case of death and at Rs5 lakh in case of grievous injury.
The bill provides for a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund which would provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents.