The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill was passed on 31st July 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, and has been signed by President. It has been implemented in almost entire Bharat except few states since 1st September 2019. It has attracted all kinds of reactions from various sections of the society. Everyday there are news of someone being fined exorbitantly for violating rules. Let us examine the need of this amendment bill and what are the expected outcome.
Why Amendment Was Necessary
During last two decades road network including High Speed Highways and Expressways in Bharat has expanded at rapid pace. During this period sale of automobile vehicles has also increased exponentially. At the same time number of road accidents and deaths due them also has increased substantially. Unfortunately Bharat has highest number of deaths due to road accidents.
Poor quality of roads, potholes, bad design has caused many accidents. In addition to that reckless driving and negligence of traffic rules by drivers has become a primary reasons of not just accidents but traffic snarls as well.
To streamline the traffic on roads and minimize loss of life and property due to accidents, the amendment to Motor Vehicles Act was necessary.
What Has Changed
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill has tried to fix the on multiple fronts. The major changes that will have long lasting positive impact are summarized below.
Penalty For Violations of traffic rules has been increased by manifold. Hefty fines will become a big deterrence to unruly drivers and motivate them to follow the rules as fine amount becomes unbearable when charged for more than violations together. Detailed information about increase in fines is available on PIB website.
Compensation & Treatment of road accident victims has been provisioned in new amendment. This will help in reducing suffering and loss of human life as guidelines has been laid out for their treatment during golden hour.
Recall of Vehicles is a new concept, which was badly needed. Now government can ask vehicle manufacturers to compulsorily recall the defective vehicles from market. This will enhance safety and reduce environmental hazards.
Ease of Licensing & Registration is another area that needed simplification so that people can access services in a hassle free manner. Nationwide rollout of Sarathi and Vahan platforms has facilitated National Register of Driving License and Vehicle Registration.
By placing punitive deterrence measures in form of hefty fines and possible jail term for traffic rule violators, government has set path for streamlined traffic on Bharatiya roads. Though awareness and deep understanding of rules and regulations remain low among a large section of Drivers. Driver Education should be the next frontier for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
"Defensive Driving" education should be made compulsory for repeat offenders and serious violation. That will tame the chaos and bring order on roads and make journey a pleasant experience.