New motor law on the way

Passed by Lok Sabha, Bill removes cap on liability for third party insurance.

The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017, which proposes imposition of hefty penalties on auto companies found manufacturing faulty vehicles, is coming up in the Rajya Sabha in this Winter Session. The Bill also seeks statuary guidelines for cab aggregators and a 10% annual increase in penalties for traffic rule violations. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill in April this year.

The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is an important legislation as it will radically change the 30-year-old law. The following proposals in the Bill will probably change the way India drives in future:

Aadhaar will be mandatory for a driving licence and vehicle registration. For hit-and-run deaths, the government will provide a compensation of ₹2 lakh or more to the victim’s family.

In traffic violations by juveniles, the guardians or owner of the vehicle would be held responsible. The registration of the vehicle will be cancelled. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Those who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability.

Minimum fine for drunk driving will be ₹10,000.

Fine for rash driving will be ₹5,000.

Driving without a licence will be fined ₹5,000.

Fine for over-speeding will go up to ₹1,000-2,000.

Not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of ₹1,000.

Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of ₹5,000.

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

It will be mandatory to alter vehicles for specially abled people.

Contractors, consultants and civic agencies will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads leading to accidents.

A time limit of six months has been specified for an application of compensation to the Claims Tribunal with regard to accidents.

The Bill removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance. The 2016 Bill had capped the maximum liability at ₹10 lakh in case of death and ₹5 lakh in case of grievous injury.

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

Government can recall vehicles whose components or engine do not meet the required standards. Manufacturers can be fined up to ₹500 crore in case of substandard components or engine.

Date : 18/12/2017

Source : The Economic Times

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