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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Break traffic rules, earn penalty points

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 02, 2011
First Published: 22:14 IST(2/2/2011) | Last Updated: 01:54 IST(3/2/2011)

Soon, motor vehicle drivers across the country won't be able to get away after jumping a red light or over speeding by just paying a measly penalty. For every traffic violation that you commit -- which includes failing to wear seat belt/ helmet, drunk driving, rash/ dangerous driving, talking on the mobile, using I-Pod or Bluetooth devices - apart from fines or imprisonment, you will be awarded penalty points. For every twelve penalty points that you accumulate your driving license will be suspended for a year.

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If a driver whose license has been suspended, once again accumulates 12 points, the licence will be cancelled for five years.

It is one among a host of landmark changes that a ten member committee headed by S Sundar, former road secretary has recommended to overhaul some of the archaic provisions under Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988. The committee submitted its report to CP Joshi, Union minister of Road Transport and Highways on Wednesday. 

Some of the other key changes recommended include issuing of a unique number to your driving license to negate the scope of fake/duplicate license, number portability which will ensure that you need not have to run from pillar to post to get your car re-registered if you move to a different state. Besides, the committee also proposed that it would be mandatory upon the car insurance company to provide road accident victims cashless medical treatment during the first 72 hours- also called the 'golden hour'.

These are among a host of landmark changes that a ten member committee headed by S Sundar, former road secretary has recommended to overhaul some of the archaic provisions under Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988. The committee submitted its report to CP Joshi, Union minister of Road Transport and Highways on Wednesday. 

"After assessing the report, we will seek a cabinet approval. We intend to introduce a Bill to amend the MV Act in the coming Budget session," said RS Gujral, secretary, Road Transport Ministry.

Transport expert say it was long due as the last time the MV Act was amended was in 2001 and as the road minister, admitted, since then many provisions related to offence and penalty had ceased to have any 'punitive effect'. Infact, the ministry had introduced the MV amendment bill in 2007 but it was subsequently withdrawn after the then road transport minister Kamal Nath wanted to review the changes. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/03_02_pg1b.jpg

"The amendment to the MV Act is long overdue. The ministry should work towards ensuring that there is no further delay in amending the archaic laws. However, just having a law is not enough. The ministry should also work towards strengthening the enforcement mechanism," said Prof. HM Shivanand Swamy of the Ahmedabad based Centre of Excellence in Urban Transport, CEPT University.

The committee has also recommended enhancing of fines for various traffic violation/offences. For jumping of red light, the proposed fine will be Rs. 1000 from the existing Rs. 500. For using mobile phone, I-pods etc, the proposed fine is Rs. 1000 from the existing Rs. 600. Committee report

For drunk driving, depending on the content of alcohol in the driver's blood, the committee has proposed enhancing the fine between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 10,000 and imprisonment between six months to a year. The existing penalty varies between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000.


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