Indian cabinet approves Motor Bill to ensure road safety

The Indian cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that provides for stiffer penalties for violating traffic rules including dangerous and drunken driving, driving without license and helmet, over-speeding and overloading. "The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night, has approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. It provides steep penalties for violation of various traffic norms," official sources said.

Regarding road safety, stricter provisions have been proposed in the Bill for offences like juvenile driving. Under the Bill, penalty for dangerous driving would be increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000, while drunken driving under the proposed new law would attract a fine of Rs 10,000. Those not wearing seat belts would attract Rs 1,000 fine and those not wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers would be charged a penalty of Rs 1,000 while their licences will be disqualified for three months.

The Bill proposes Rs 10,000 fine for not giving way to emergency vehicles and Rs 10,000 for driving despite disqualification. Aggregators violating driving licences will be fined up to Rs one lakh, as per the provisions in the Bill. The Bill includes penalties in the range of Rs 1,000- 2,000 for over-speeding, driving without insurance will be punishable with Rs 2,000 fine and driving without helmets will attract Rs 1,000 fine and 3-month suspension of licence.

The provisions also include that guardian or owner of a vehicle will be deemed guilty and will have to cough up Rs 25,000 with three years’ imprisonment and cancellation of the vehicle registration in case of road offence by juveniles while registration of the vehicle will be cancelled. Traffic violations would now attract a penalty of Rs 500 in place of Rs 100 earlier, while disobedience of orders of authorities will attract a minimum penalty of Rs 2,000 in place of Rs 500 earlier. Penalty for unauthorized use of vehicles without licence has been proposed at Rs 5,000 while those driving without licence will have to shell out the same amount.