The amendments are still awaiting the President’s approval before they can become laws

Road transport and traffic rules and regulations in India are just one step away from becoming a lot stricter than before. The Government of India had floated an amendment bill for the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 1988 which was passed by the Lok Sabha just a week back followed by approval from Rajya Sabha now. Here’s what the bill proposes:

  • A separate law on road safety which proposes cashless treatments for critical road accident victims.
  • A good samaritan law is also in the works, which should protect citizens who come forward to assist accident victims from legal scrutiny or liabilities if there are any unintended consequences from their aid.
  • Compensation for hit-and-run cases could become Rs 5 lakh for deaths and Rs 2.5 lakh in case of grievous injuries.
  • A lot of accidents in India occur due to bad road conditions. A new law will hold road construction companies answerable if applicable.
  • Obtaining a driving license is going to be tougher as the process will be much more technology-oriented, reducing human intervention to cut down on the number of untrained drivers on the roads. This should have a positive effect on road accidents and as a result, fatalities.
  • The government will be able to issue a recall on the manufacturer’s behalf if a vehicle poses any threat to its owners, other road users or the environment. The carmaker will be liable for recalls for parts replacement with similar or better specifications. If required and applicable, the manufacturer might also need to reimburse the value of the car to the owner depending on the hire-purchase or lease agreement. A fine of upto Rs 100 crores may also be imposed on carmakers that fail to comply with the manufacturing norms. Company executives found guilty might be sent behind bars for upto one year.
  • There will be new rules for giving way to emergency service vehicles, and unnecessary honking on the roads. These offenders will cough up to Rs 10,000 or end up behind bars for six months or both.
  • Cab aggregators like Ola and Uber will fall under the law as a whole new entity, allowing the Govt. to bring them under the new framework.
  • Laws regarding drunk driving, mobile phone usage, red light and stop sign violations will also become stricter than before.

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