MOTOR VEHICLES ACT
Context: In July 2019 the Rajya Sabah passed the motor vehicle amendment bill .The bill contains provisions that will make Indian roads safer,the bill was passed earlier in Lok Sabah.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is based on the recommendations of the Group of Transport Ministers of States.
- To deter individuals from violating traffic rules, it has introduced heavy fines for drunken driving, driving without license, dangerous driving, over-speeding, etc.
- These penalties will be increasing by 10 per cent every year on April 1, as notified by the Central government.
- The new Act has also extended the period for renewal of driving licenses from one month to one year after the date of expiry. Only if the renewal delayed more than a year, will the driver have to undergo a test of competence.
- The Act also promises to protect those people who render emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim of an accident, from any civil or criminal liability.
- The minimum compensation for death or grievous injury due to hit and run has been moved up substantially.
- The Bill also defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident.
- The Bill proposes a National Road Safety Board which will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management
In 2017, as per data by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, there had occurred 4.64 lakh accidents that claimed lives of 1.47 lakh people. The government aims to put a firm mechanism in place to avoid such deaths by creating awareness among people regarding road safety.
Its litmus test will lie in effective implementation by enforcement agencies. Punitive measures, however stringent, will not achieve much without adequate number of traffic police personnel and road-safety devices like traffic lights.
Unless law enforcement officials haul up wrongdoers without succumbing to old habits like bribery, the purpose of the new law will be defeated. The Motor Vehicles Act does recognize these imperatives.
We need rules for the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety including speed cameras, closed-circuit television cameras, speed guns, body wearable cameras and such other technology.
State governments also need to ensure “electronic monitoring on national and state highways”.
Question: Bring out the provisions of the motor vehicles (amendment) bill, 2019
and their utility in making India’s Road safer. (20 marks)