In view of rising road fatalities, citizens blatantly breaking traffic rules, thanks to meager fines in place as on date, the new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act was presented at the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. This new Act will bring in more stringent checks on offenders and higher fines along with extended jail terms in some cases.
The amendments seek to make helmets mandatory for all riders and pillion riders while even children above 4 years of age will have to wear helmets while travelling on two wheelers.
The amendment also insists that helmets need to be securely fastened. Sikhs who wear turbans will be exempted from this rule. Car passengers below 14 years of age also need to be secured with seat belt or restraint system while failure to comply will entail a fine of INR 1,000.
Motor Vehicle Amendment Act also seeks to empower traffic police to confiscate driving licenses in the event of offenders jumping signals, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving in wrong lane and talking on the mobile phone while riding/driving.
Besides fining, the offenders also face suspension of licenses for a period of 3 months while repeat offenders could lose their licenses altogether. Driving without insurance would lead to a fine of INR 4,000 while repeated drunk driving offenders could face fine of INR 15,000 and loss of license. In the event of juvenile drivers, the amendment seeks fine and jail term for owners of the vehicle or guardian of the juvenile driver.
To ensure proper implementation of these regulations and to ascertain past offences immediately, the bill also proposes a central data base of all drivers and vehicles which can be accessed on the spot by the police.