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Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016: Key Provisions

The Lok Sabha has passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by a voice vote to give more thrust to road safety, controlling pollution and accidents.

The bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 that provides for legal standards for motor vehicles, grant of driving licenses, and penalties for violation of these provisions.

Key Provisions

  • National Transportation Policy: Union government must frame National Transportation Policy, in consultation with the states.
  • Recall of vehicles: It empowers Union government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defects in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF): Mandatory for Union government to constitute Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India.
  • MVAF will be credited with cess or tax as approved by Union government, grant or loan made by Union government or any other source prescribed by Union government.
  • Care for road accident victims: Union government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.
  • It defines golden hour as the time period of up to an hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest.
  • Compensation for death: It increases the compensation for death in a hit and run case from to Rs two lakh or more from Rs 25,000, as prescribed by the Union government.
  • Protection of good samaritans: It defines a good samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at scene of an accident in good faith, voluntary and without the expectation of any reward.
  • Good samaritans will not be held liable for any criminal or civil action for any injury to or death of an accident victim. Union government may frame rules to provide for procedures for their questioning or disclosure of personal information.
  • Aggregator services: It defines an aggregator as a digital intermediary or market place and their services may be used by a passenger to connect with a driver for transportation purposes.
  • It makes mandatory for these aggregators to obtain licenses and comply with the Information Technology Act (IT), 2000.
  • Electronic services: The Bill provides for the computerization of certain services to improve delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance.
  • It enables (i) online learning licenses, (ii) increases period of driving licenses validity, (iii) Do away with the requirements of educational qualifications for transport licenses etc.
  • It also proposes Aadhar based verification for grant of online services including learner’s licence to ensure the integrity of the online services and stop creation of duplicate licences.
  • Offences and penalties: It increases the penalties for several offences under the parent Act for high risk offences like drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, non-adherence to safety norms by drivers.
  • Offences committed Juveniles: The owner or guardian will be deemed guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles. Juvenile will be tried under JJ Act and the registration of Motor Vehicle will be cancelled.

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Government launch e-challan and m-parivahan apps for enforcement of traffic rules

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched two mobile applications —e-challan and m-parivahan to provide a comprehensive digital solution for enforcement of traffic rules.

These applications will provide access to various services and information, and enable citizens to report any traffic violation or road accident. 

m-parivahan
  • It is a citizen-centric app that will facilitate access to various transport-related services. It will bring convenience to citizen and transparency in the system
  • It is an empowering app for the citizen which provides access to various services, information and utilities related to the transport sector.
  • It will provide a virtual driving licence and registration certificates through back-end connection to the transport national register.
  • It will give full details of the car and the owner, including his driving licence and registration certificate if a vehicle number is entered into the app.
  • This will help check the genuineness of a vehicle’s ownership and driver. It will also help in passenger safety when hiring a driver or when buying a second-hand vehicle.
e-challan
  • eChallan is an integrated enforcement solution to manage traffic violations through mobile app and back-end web application, for use by the Traffic Police and Transport Enforcement Wing.
  • It will help in improving transparency by connecting all stakeholders through a common system and ensuring data integrity.
  • It will also help in easing operations and efficient monitoring through digitization of records and will enhance the visibility of offenders, leading to better traffic management.

Both apps also have additional common functionalities like road accident and traffic violation reporting by citizen, concept of virtual and enforceable DL/RC etc. They will also facilitate “good Samaritans” through technology.

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Union Cabinet approves Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to improve road safety scenario in the country.

The bill seeks to amend Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), 1988 and proposes to hefty penalties against violations of road safety rules as a deterrent measure.

Key Features of the Bill

  • Changes in Parent law: It amends existing 68 sections of MVA, 1988 which has total 223 sections. It proposes addition of 28 new sections.
  • It deletes Chapters 10 and replaces Chapter 11 provisions with new set of provisions to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process.
  • Compensation: Increases compensation for Hit & Run cases to Rs. 2 lakh from Rs.25000. Adds provision for payment of compensation in road accidents fatalities upto Rs. 10 lakh.
  • Role of states: It permits states to grant exemptions in Stage carriage and contract carriage permits for promoting rural transport, last mile connectivity, public transport and for road safety and passenger convenience.
  • Permits state Government to specify a multiplier to be applied to each fine under this Act and such modified fine. The multiplier must be not less than one and not greater than ten,
  • Allows State Government to regulate the activities in a public place of pedestrians and such means of transport.
  • e-Governance: It focuses on improving delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance. It enables (i) online learning licenses, (ii) increases period of driving licenses validity, (iii) Do away with the requirements of educational qualifications for transport licenses etc.
  • Vahan & Sarathi platforms: Proposes to create National Register for Vehicle registration and National Register for Driving Licence through “Sarathi” and “Vahan” platforms.
  • This will facilitate uniformity of the process across the country and bring harmony of the registration and licensing process.
  • Offences committed Juveniles: The owner or guardian will be deemed guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles. Juvenile will be tried under JJ Act and the registration of Motor Vehicle will be cancelled.
  • Other Provisions: (ii) Registration at the end of the dealer will be enabled and restrictions will be imposed on temporary registration. (ii) Proposes increased penalties against traffic violations as deterrent for road safety (iii) Proposes stricter provisions in respect of offences like drunken driving, driving without licence, juvenile driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. (iv) Proposes stricter provisions for helmets along with provisions for electronic detection of violations. (v) Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated to help the road accident victims. (vi) Proposes an automated fitness testing for the transport vehicles with effect from 1st October 2018. Its mandate is to reduce corruption in the Transport Department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle.  (vii) Proposes penalties for deliberate violation of safety and environmental regulations as well as spare part suppliers and body builders.

Comment

  • The proposed amendments to MVA, 1988 mainly focuses on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the Transport Department.
  • It also focuses on strengthening rural transport, public transport, last mile connectivity automation and computerization (e-Governace) and enabling online services.

Background

  • In India every year 5 lakh road accidents are reported in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives.
  • To address the issue of road safety, the Union Government had proposed a draft Road Transport & Safety Bill earlier. However, most of the States had expressed reservations.
  • To address the reservations of states the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways constituted a Group of Transport Ministers (GoM) of the States.
  • The GoM was headed by Yoonus Khan, Transport Minister of Rajasthan held three meetings in which total of 18 Transport Ministers from different states had participated.
  • The GoM had recommended that Union Government should immediately bring amendments to the present Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 to address the issue of road safety and improving transport scenario.

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