The Government of India passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendments) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha on July 31, 2019. Earlier, Lok Sabha passed this bill on July 23, 2019. The changes proposed in the amended bill are expected to help curb corruption, improve road safety, enhance rural transport system, upgrade public transport, encourage vehicle insurance adoption and introduce automation and several online services to accelerate the various processes related to the transport department all over India.
Here're some of the major amendments proposed in the principal Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to form the new Motor Vehicles (Amendments) Bill, 2019:
- The minimum penalty for violating the traffic rules has been increased to INR 500 from INR 100.
- If you are caught drunk driving, then you can be fined a minimum of INR 10,000.
- If you are driving a vehicle without a valid driving license, then you can be penalized a minimum of INR 5,000.
- If you do not wear a seat belt, then you can be fined INR 1,000 for negligence.
- One of the most welcomed penalty levied is the fine of INR 10,000, if you do not give a free way to emergency vehicles such as ambulance and fire brigade.
- If you are driving a vehicle with expired bike or car insurance , then you can be fined INR 2,000 by the traffic police. Earlier this penalty was INR 1,000.
- The penalty for hit and run cases (Third Party Insurance) has also increased from INR 25,000 to INR 2 lakhs in case of death and from INR 12,500 to INR 50,000 in case of injury.
- With the Motor Vehicles (Amendments) Bill, 2019, victims (or their relatives, in case of death of the victim) can file the insurance claim within the six months of the occurrence of the accident.
- The new bill also stated that the first hour after the accident would be defined as the golden hour, which will allow the road accident victims to take the benefit of cashless claims during this period.
- The bill also proposed to set up a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, by central government of India. This fund will be used to facilitate the treatment and compensation to the victims of road accidents in the golden hour.
The new Motor Vehicles (Amendments) Bill, 2019 will soon become a law in India, after the signature of the President of India. We are sure that this new law will help reduce road accidents to a large extent and people will follow the traffic rules more diligently. The heavy fines levied on the vehicle owners and drivers will ensure better transport system and discipline among the people of India while driving their vehicles.
Please make sure that you do not drive your vehicle with an invalid or expired policy, as you might end up in trouble. Also, it is better to invest in an affordable car / bike insurance policy well in advance than paying a hefty fine of INR 2,000.