LS passes changes to Motor Vehicles Act

As per the new rule, accidents that have occurred due to drunken driving will not be covered by insurance.

Driving without a licence may soon lead to a minimum fine of Rs. 5,000 as against Rs. 500 at present, according to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The government has removed the proposed cap on third-party motor insurance claims in case of death or injury - though the current law has no such cap, a cap of Rs 10 lakh for death and Rs 5 lakh for grievous injuries was proposed in the draft Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill.

In the case of death in hit-and-run accidents, the bill provides for an eight-fold increase in compensation to ₹2 lakh.

The Bill was passed by a voice vote after several opposition amendments were rejected, including one moved by CPI (M) member Sankar Prasad Datta on enhancing the compensation in case of accidents, was defeated by 37 votes in favour and 221 against. Government is committed to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years.

Gadkari said there is a provision for creating a fund for extending compensation and medical help to the road accident victims. This include enabling online learning licenses, increasing validity period for driving licenses, doing away with the requirements of educational qualifications for transport licenses are some of the features.

Observing that there was corruption at state check posts and the Centre was in touch with states to deal with the issue. It will also provide compulsory insurance cover in certain types of accidents for all road users.

Under the new system, every one will have to go to the licence issuing authority under a uniform procedure and if the licence is not issued in three days, the RTO will have to face action. "The government has also identified 786 blind spots across the country and will spend Rs 11,000 to remove them to curtail accidents", he said.

The bill provides for facilitating delivery of services to the citizens and transporters, and proposes Aadhaar based verification for grant of online services, including learner's licence.

Derek O'Brien (TMC) said there is an informal agreement to send the bill to the Select Committee before the House takes it up for consideration.

  • Joanne Flowers