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Cabinet Approves Road Safety Bill; Hefty Penalties In Place For Violators

The Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 with 68 amendments and 28 new sections. The new Road Safety Bill will bring about hefty fines for traffic violators once it comes into effect after clearance from the parliament.

The Union Cabinet has cleared the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 on Wednesday. The Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari conferred it as “the single biggest reform” among the laws governing road safety. The bill has received 68 amendments with 28 new sections from the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament.  All amendments have come in from a group of state transport ministers set up by the centre to review the laws on road safety.

The draft Road Safety Bill will cause a steep incline in the amount for penalties and traffic violations. Nitin Gadkari stated that the increase in fine amount will act as a deterrent and help bring road discipline. The draft Road Safety Bill is seen with major changes across all types of traffic violations, with fines and penalties increasing almost three-fold to the current amount.

Increase in fines with the new Road Safety Bill
Difference between the present bill and the new bill to be introduced to curb traffic violations

According to reports, violations like hit and run cases which currently amount to a fine of Rs. 25,000 will cost up to Rs. 2 Lakhs with the new amendment, while compensation for road fatalities will go up to Rs. 10 Lakhs. Talking over the phone while riding or driving at present will levy a fine of Rs. 1000, but with the new bill the same violation will get a fine five-fold higher than the present. Drunk driving which at present invites a fine of Rs. 2000 now will cost Rs. 10,000.

Other instances involving a minor, will cause the guardian to be responsible, this is part of a new section in the bill making them accountable for their minors. If a minor is caught at the wheel or involved in causing a fatal accident, the parents will face a fine of INR 25,000 as well as three years in jail. Also, the registration of the vehicle involved in the accident may be cancelled.

According to data released by the government, the year 2015 witnessed 400 deaths of the Indian streets every day. The new bill once implemented will aim to reduce the fatalities and traffic violations with the hefty fines acting as a deterrent for the same.

Source – Hindustan Times 

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