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MOTOR VEHICLE AMMENDMENT BILL 2019



Abstract:


· The motor vehicles amendment bill 2019 was introduced in Loksabha on July 15, 2019 by the minister for road transport and highways. The bill seeks to amend the MVA 1988. To provide for road safety. The Act provides for grant of licenses and permits related to motor vehicles, and penalties for violation of these provisions.


· Compensation for road accident victim: The central government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. The central government may also make a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation under third party insurance.


· Offences and penalties: The bill increases penalties for several offences under the act, for example the maximum penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from 2000 to 10000. If a vehicle manufacturer fails to comply with motor vehicle standards, the penalty will be a fine up to 100 crore or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.


· Taxi aggregators: The bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes these aggregators will be issued licenses by state. Further they must comply with the Information Technology Act 2000.


”WEAR A HELMET PUT HE SEAT BELT DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE STAY IN YOUR LANE KEEP YOUR LICENSE IN HANDY THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT OF ALL.”


Motor vehicles amendment act 2019 a lot of things have changed for motorists plying in Indian roads. With the Motor Vehicles Act 2019 coming into effect from September 1, the going has gotten difficult for those breaking traffic rules. From higher penalties for driving errors to implement up to one month for racing and speeding and up to six months for offence relating to accidents the new act is bringing back things in order by instilling fear.


The Motor vehicles Amendment bill 2019, is based on the recommendations of the group of Transport ministers of states. Given that the act wanted to deter individuals from violating traffic rules, it has introduced heavy fines for drunken driving without license, dangerous driving over speeding etc., these penalties will be increasing by 10percent every year on April 1, as notified by the central government. The new act has also extended the period for renewal of driving licenses from one month to one year after year the date of expiry.


Only if the renewal delayed more than a year, will the driver have to undergo a test of competence. The act also promises to protect those people who render emergency medical or non medical assistance to a victim of an accident, from any civil or criminal liability. The minimum compensation for death or grievous injury due to hit and run has been moved up substantially.


In 2017, as per data by the ministry of Road Transport and Highways, there had occurred 4.64, lakh accidents that claimed lives of 1.47 lakh people. Two wheelers amounted for over a third of all road accidents. Slowly, as all states begin implementing the provisions of the act with heftier fines and imprisonments for drunken driving, without license and insurance and juvenile offences, people may start to follow rules and road accidents may actually reduce. In the last one week itself, there has been a rush among motorist to renew their lapsed insurance policies, according to data from the largest insurance aggregator. A valid motor insurance is important so that the aggrieved parties in a road accident get compensation. However note that given that is only a model act, state governments are free to make their own laws and rules. Success depends on how far states enforce the provisions of the Act.


Not following the traffic and road safety rules as per the Act will burn a hole in your pocket. For not wearing a helmet, the fine has increased from 100 to 1000 plud a three month disqualification of license. For not wearing a seat belt, the penalty is now 1000. For speeding and racing the fine has increased from 500 to 5000 and for drunken driving from 2000 to 10000. The fine for driving without a valid license is now 5000.


Besides, higher penalty, the new act also includes imprisonment for severe crimes. Speed racing can attract imprisonment for three months with or without a fine this will extend to a period of one year if caught for the second time. For offences by juveniles the guardian or owner of the vehicle shall be deemed to be guilty and punished with a 25000 fine and three years imprisonment. The juvenile would be tried under juvenile justice act 2000, and the registration of motor vehicle will be cancelled for a period of 12 months. The owner of a motor vehicle who alter it by way of retrofitting of motor vehicle parts in a manner not permitted under the Act shall be punished with imprisonment for a tern which may extend to six months.


The amendments to the motor vehicle act were passed by the parliament recently but moat have come into effect from September 1 2019. This means that driving errors are going to make a huge dent in your monthly budget and some of them may cost you the same or more than your monthly fuel bill.


The transport ministry issued a notification dated august 28 failing out all the laws that have come into effect from September 1 2019. Here is a list of the important new motor vehicle laws that are come into effect from September 2019 according to the transport ministry press release.



Enhancement of penalties


The new motor vehicle act has enhanced the penalties for driving errors. According to the transport ministry’s press release explaining the summary of charges in the motor vehicle act, it has enhanced for penalty for offences where no penalty is specifically provided for first offence from rs.100 to Rs.500 and second offence from Rs.300 to Rs.1500.


Additionally new penalties have been introduced in case of road regulations. The new penalty can be between Rs.500 to Rs.1000.



NEW PENALTY AMOUNTS UNDER MOTOR VEHICLE AMMENDMENT ACT 2019


So the proposed changes in the old Motor Vehicle Act 2019, is the way forward to improve the Indian transportation system and punish the willful offenders. I hope that new motor vehicle act will reduce the number of road accidents and offences.

In case of drunken driving, imprisonment up to six months and a fine up to Rs.10000 in case of first offense. For the second offense, there will be a prison term of up to 2 years and a fine of Rs.15000 will be levied.


Driving an un insured vehicle can actually land you jail in September 1.


According to the new motor vehicle act you can be a penalized an amount of Rs.2000 and imprisoned for up to 3 months for the first time you are caught driving an un insured vehicle. For the second time offense a fine of Rs.4000 and imprisonment of up to 3 months.


You will have to pay penalty of Rs.5000 in case you are caught driving without license. The penalty in these cases has been enhanced by 10 times. Previously the penalty for driving license was Rs.500.


Penalty for over speeding has been enhanced from up to Rs.400 to Rs.1000. in case of Light motor vehicle it will be Rs.2000. For medium passengers or goods vehicles and subsequent offence the penalty can be between rs.2000 and Rs.4000.


If you are caught racing and speeding you can be imprisoned for up to one month and fine up to rs.500 will be levied if it is a first time offence. In case of a second time offence through imprisonment will remain same, the penalty can go up to rs.10000.


Starting from september1 travelling without ticket in state transport buses will cost you more. The penalty amount has been increased from up to rs.200 to Rs.500.


A penalty of rs.2000 can also be levied on you in case you disobey government orders and refuse to share the information with the authorities. Prior to this, the amount of penalty in such a case was rs.500.


Unauthorized use of vehicles without license will cost you rs.5000 up from previous penalty amount of rs.1000.


Offenses relating to accidents from September 1 can lead to imprisonment of up to six months and fine up to rs.5000 for first time offence for the second time offence imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine up to rs.10000 will be levied.


From September 1 new penalties have been prescribed for carrying of excess passengers failure to use safety belt and violation of rules in seating of children, violation of safety measures for motor cysle drivers and pillion riders, refusal to stop and submit vehicle for weighing use of phones in silent zones and failure to allow free passage to emergency vehicles.


· Compensation for road accident victim: The central government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. The central government may also make a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation under third party insurance.


· Taxi aggregators: The bill defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes these aggregators will be issued licenses by state. Further they must comply with the Information Technology Act 2000.



Conclusion:


The standing committee on Transport had observed that the majority of accidents being caused due to drivers fault may be erroneous. Other reasons for road accidents include fault of drivers of other vehicles, defect in condition of Motor vehicle amendment Bill 2019, seeks to address these issues through stringent penalties and provisions.



Recent judgment:


On Friday, the Bombay high court held that parents of a married son are not entitled to filial compensation under the motor vehicles act,


Partly modifying the order of the Motor accident claims tribunal, solapur, the single judge bench of Justice RD Dhanuka struck off the amount awarded to the deceased parents towards filial compensation and said,


“in so far as the filial compensation claimed by the respondent no.1 to 5 is concerned in my view since the said deceased was not a bachelor at the time of his death, the parents would not be entitled to claim any filial consortium.”


Reliance was placed on Magma General Insurance co Ltd, V Nanu Ram & Ors AIR 2018 SC 892, where by the Supreme Court had held that only in cases where the parents have lost their child, or unmarried son or daughter the parents are entitled to be awarded as loss of consortium under the head of the Filial Consortium.


Filial Consortium is the right of the parents to compensate in the case of an accidental death of a child causes great shock and agony to the parents and family of the deceased. The greatest agony for a parent is to lose their child during their lifetime. Children are valued for their love, affection, companionship and their role in the family unit.


The Motor Vehicle Act is a beneficial legislation aumed at providing relief to the victims or their families, incases of genuine claims. In case where a parent has a lost their minor child or unmarried daughter are entitled to be awarded as loss of consortium under the head of Filial Consortium the apex court had said.


The deceased was an agriculturalist and milk vendor, who was hit by a negligently driven Maruti van while he was riding his bike. The insurance company has refused to grant compensation to the deceased family. Citing contributory negligence. Holding that accident occurred due to no fault to the deceased, the Tribunal had awarded compensation to the family under multiple heads as permitted by the Supreme Court.




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Author Details: N.PRAVEENA (2nd year student at Anantha College of Law, Tirupati)

The views of the author are personal only.

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