Parliament panel okays bill to increase traffic fines by 10% every year
Drunken driving will invite a fine of Rs10,000, talking on phones while driving will result in a fine of Rs5,000, and for jumping red light, driving without seat belt and helmet, the proposed fine is Rs1,000.Updated: Dec 23, 2017 16:19 IST
A parliamentary panel has agreed to a 10% annual increase in the fines for various traffic violations including drunken driving, talking on mobile, rash and negligent driving.
The panel was studying the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which already proposes a significant increase in penalties for traffic offences.
The bill has been cleared by the Lok Sabha in April and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
Drunken driving — one of the main causes of deaths in road accidents in India — will invite a fine of Rs10,000 from the existing Rs2,000. Talking on mobile phones while driving will result in a fine of Rs5,000, up from the present Rs1,000. For red light jumping, driving without seat belt/helmet, the proposed fine is Rs1,000.
“The Rajya Sabha select committee has endorsed in totality the amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that was cleared by Lok Sabha. We have submitted the report today,” BJP MP Vinay P Saharabuddhe who headed the committee told Hindustan Times.
The amendments to the proposed law include a three-year jail and Rs25,000 fine for guardians of minors caught driving and causing fatal accidents, and a ten-fold increase in compensation for families of accident victims.
A slew of reforms including simplifying vehicle registration process, online issue of learner’s license, bringing ride hailing service providers under the motor vehicle law and mandatory vehicle recall policy, in case of defect, have also been proposed in the law.
However, despite the select committee accepting all the proposed amendments, the bill is unlikely to have a smooth sailing when it comes up for discussion and passage in Rajya Sabha in the first week of January. The Parliament’s winter session is ending on January 5.
Seven of the 24 members of the select committee including Congress’ Pramod Tiwari and BK Hariprasad, DMK’s K Kanimozhi, and AIADMK’s A Navaneetha Krishnan have submitted a dissent note to some of the provisions of the proposed law.
Congress’s BK Hariprasad and CPI(M)’s CP Narayanan have objected to the provision of empowering dealers to register vehicles on behalf of owners on the grounds that this is against public interest. The Union road transport ministry, which is piloting the bill has stood its ground and said the proposed amendment will not only check delays but will also bring in transparency as dealers would be able to apply online for registration numbers instead of having to visit RTOs.
Hariprasad has also dissented to the provision to simplify the process of change of residence or place of business as it encroaches on state’s right in fixing jurisdiction.
Congress MPs Pramod Tiwari and Hariprasad and CPI(M)’s Narayanan have also objected to the provision in the bill empowering the central government to modify permits and make schemes for inter-state transport of goods and passengers on the grounds that it infringes on states’ rights.
A senior road transport ministry official, however said, “We have given reasons for each of the objections raised by the members and why the proposed amendments are valid. We will stick to it.”The bill, once approved, will replace the 26 -year-old Motor Vehicle Act that was last amended in 2001.
First Published: Dec 22, 2017 23:19 IST