The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 (“Act”) came into force on 1st September 2019. The Amendment Act replaced the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. A notification issued by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (“Notification”) stated that September 1, 2019, is to be appointed as the date on which Section 1 of the Amendment Act will come into force.
After a long wait for three years, the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (“Bill”) was passed on August 5 by the Parliament and on August 9, it received the President’s assent. The main aim of introducing this Bill was to improve road safety, regulating road traffic, improving process of issuing licenses and eliminating corruption in RTO offices. Amendments in the 30 year old motor vehicles laws are very much needed with the increasing congestion in all the cities. India needs to keep pace with the upcoming innovation in the transportation and automobile sector along with rapid development and urbanization.
The salient features of the Act are:
1. Road safety:
To achieve its aim of ensuring road safety, the Act increases penalties and introduces strict provisions in respect of various offences like drunk driving, over-speeding, driving without a license, over-loading, etc. Penalties for various offences are to be increased by 10% every year.
|New Minimum Penalties|
|New 177A||Rules of road regulation violation||Rs.100||Rs.500|
|178||Travel without ticket||Rs.200||Rs.500|
|179||Disobedience of orders of authorities||Rs.500||Rs.2000|
|180||Unauthorized use of vehicles||Rs.1000||Rs.5000|
|181||Driving without license||Rs.500||Rs.5000|
|182||Driving despite disqualification||Rs.500||Rs.10,000|
|183||Over speeding||Rs.400||Rs.10000 for LMV and Rs.2000 for Motor Vehicle|
|185||Drinking and driving||Rs.2000||Rs.10,000|
|192A||Vehicle without permit||Upto Rs.5000||Upto Rs.10,000|
|193||Aggregators (violations of licensing conditions)||New||Rs.25,000 to Rs.1,00,000|
|194||Overloading||Rs.2000 and Rs.1000 per extra tonne||Rs.20,000 and
Rs.2000 per extra tonne.
|194A||Overloading of passengers||Rs.1000 per extra passenger|
|194C||Overloading of two wheelers||Rs.100||Rs. 2000 Disqualification of months of license.|
|194D||Helmets||Rs.100||Rs. 1000 Disqualification for license.|
|194E||Not providing way for emergency vehicles||New||Rs. 10,000|
|196||Driving without insurance||Rs.1000||Rs. 2000|
|199||Offences by juveniles||New||Guardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs. 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ act. registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled.|
|206||Power of Officer to impound documents||Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183,184,185,189,190,194C,194D,194E|
|210B||Offences committed by enforcing authorities||Twice the penalty under the relevant section.|
2. Road Safety Board:
Under Section 215B, the Act provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be constituted by a Notification of the Central Government. The Board will advise the Central and State Government on aspects of road safety, traffic management, registration and licensing of motor vehicles, formulating standards related to road safety.
3. Protection of Good Samaritan:
The Act defines a Good Samaritan as “a person, who in good faith, voluntarily and without expectation of any reward or compensation renders emergency medical or non-medical care or assistance at the scene of an accident to the victim or transports such victim to the hospital”
The Act introduces Section 134A which protects the Samaritans from unnecessary harassment from civil or criminal proceedings. It also empowers the Central Government to make rules for their protection.
4. Cashless Treatment during Golden Hour:
The Central Government has been given the responsibility to make a scheme that provides for cashless treatment of road accident victims during the golden hour period. Such a scheme may also contain provisions for the creation of a fund for the same purpose.
5. Recalling of vehicles:
Section 110A of the Act allows the Central Government to recall for a motor vehicle if a defect in that vehicle may cause certain harm to the driver or occupants or to the environment. It also has a provision which states that the manufacturer shall a) reimburse the full cost of the motor vehicle to the buyer; b) replace the defective motor vehicle with another similar vehicle or with better specifications. The Central Government is also empowered to make any rules for regulating the recall of motor vehicles under this section.
6. National Transportation Policy:
A major highlight of the new Act is the power conferred upon the Central Government under Section 66A to form a National Transportation Policy to transform the transportation system, identify areas of development, improve connectivity and formulate many other strategies.
In order to ensure that only those who possess the necessary skill and training obtain a driving license, the Act makes a provision that a Learners license is given in an electronic form. The Act also provides for a computerized ‘driving test’ and opening up of new driving training schools. It has also introduced a new condition to undergo a ‘driving refresher training course’ for reviving the license after revocation or suspension of the license.
8. Motor Vehicle Accident Fund:
Section 164B confers power on the Central Government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to provide for compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. This fund will be used for treatment for road accident victims in the golden hour period, compensation of people injured in hit-and-run accidents and compensation to representatives of a victim killed in a hit-and-run accident.
9. Third-Party Insurance:
The Act removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance. It includes a ten-fold increase in the insurance compensation: from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 5 Lakh. The compensation for representatives of the victims killed in a hit-and-run accident will be increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2 Lakh. The compensation for a victim grievously injured in a hit-and-run case will be increased from Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 50,000.
This article is authored by Drishti Vanvari, student of Bachelor of Legal Science & Bachelor of Law (B.L.S. LL.B) at Government Law college, Mumbai
Also Read – Right To Information: Amendment Bill of 2019