Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 to change how India drives

Proposed changes suggested to the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 will help makes Indian roads safer.

Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is intended to make our roads safer and save lives and is up for hearing in the ongoing The Winter Session of the Parliament (15th December, 2017 – 5th January, 2018).

With 5 lakh road accidents reported in India each year, 1.5 lakh lives are lost. Government’s 5 year plan envisions 50% reduction in accidents and fatalities. The tabled Motor Vehicle Act is to see 68 sections amended of 223 sections. Compensation for Hit & Run cases is to be increased from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. Provision for payment of compensation is fixed at upto Rs 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities.

Improvement is proposed in the areas of road safety, rural transport, last mile connectivity, public transport, automation, computerization, online services, passenger convenience, online learning licenses, and increasing validity period for driving licenses. The proposal also hopes to hold guardian /owner guilty for offences by juveniles. Juveniles are to be tried under JJ Act, and motor vehicle registration cancelled.

Juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, riding without a helmet, overloading, etc are to be viewed strictly. Good Samaritan guidelines will help passerby take appropriate action in helping the wounded in an accident. Road worthiness of transport vehicles is to be determined through timely fitness testing from 1st October 2018. Penalties could be levied upon violation of safety/environmental regulations as well as body builders and spare part suppliers.

National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration ‘Vahan’ and ‘Sarathi’ platforms are collecting vehicle and driver data for nationwide uniformity and access. Registration process for new vehicles will be enabled at the dealer level. Restrictions are being imposed on temporary registration.

Penalties (Rs 500 crore) are to be levied on auto companies that are found to be manufacturing faulty vehicles. Aadhaar is being made mandatory to get a driving licence and for vehicle registration. Minimum fine for drunk driving is increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. Fine for rash driving is increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. Driving without a licence is to be fined at Rs 5,000 up from Rs 500. Over-speeding fine is up from 400 to Rs 1,000-2,000. Not wearing seatbelt will cost you Rs 1,000, up from Rs 100 at present. Talking on a mobile phone while driving warrants a fine of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000.

Vehicles are to be altered to be suitable for specially-abled people. Contractors, consultants and civic agencies are to be held accountable for faulty design, poor construction and/or poor road maintenance leading to accidents.

Old vs New (Proposed) Penalty

SectionOldNew
177GeneralRs 100Rs 500
New 177ARules of road regulation violationRs 100Rs 500
178Travel without ticketRS 200Rs 500
179Disobedience of orders of authoritiesRs 500Rs 2000
180Unautorized use of vehicles without licenceRs 1000Rs 5000
181Driving without licenceRs 500Rs 5000
182Driving despite disqualificationRs 500Rs 10,000
182 BOversize vehiclesNewRs 5000
183Over speedingRs 400Rs 1000 for LMV
Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle
184Dangerous driving penaltyRs 1000Upto Rs 5000
185Drunken drivingRs 2000Rs 10,000
189Speeding / RacingRs 500Rs 5,000
192 AVehicle without permitupto Rs 5000Upto Rs 10,000
193Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions)NewRs 25,000 to
Rs 1,00,000
194OverloadingRs 2000 andRs 20,000 and
Rs 1000 per extra tonneRs 2000 per extra tonne
194 AOverloading of passengersRs 1000 per extra passenger
194 BSeat beltRs 100Rs 1000
194 COverloading of two wheelersRs 100Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 DHelmetsRs 100Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 ENot providing way for emergency vehiclesNewRs 10,000
196Driving Without InsuranceRS 1000Rs 2000
199Offences by JuvenilesNewGuardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled
206Power of Officers to impound documentsSuspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D,194E
210 BOffences committed by enforcing authoritiesTwice the penalty under the relevant section