The Act provides for grant of licenses and permits related to motor vehicles, standards for motor vehicles, and penalties for violation of these provisions.
Compensation for road accident victims:
The Act increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases.
- In case of death, from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees, and
- In case of grievous injury, from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000.
- The Act increases penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations.
- Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without license, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc.
- Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.
- Penalty regarding motor vehicles is to be increased by 10 % every year.
Cashless treatment of victims
The Act provides for a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour (time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury)
Third Party Insurance
- The Act provides for a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation under third party insurance.
- There will be a 10 time increase in insurance compensation, from
- Rs 50, 000 to Rs 5 lakh. Claim process has been simplified.
- Insurance firms have to pay claims within a month, if the victim’s family agree to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation.
The Act requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India.
Protection of Good Samaritan
The Act defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.
- The Act mandates automated fitness testing for vehicles.
- Penalty has been provided for deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations.
- The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes
Recall of vehicles:
- The Act allows the central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users.
- The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will be required to:
- Reimburse the buyers for the full cost of the vehicle, or
- Replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle.
National Transportation Policy:
- Development of integrated Transport System
- This will also enhance the powers of the State Governments, provide better last mile connectivity, rural transport etc.
Road Safety Board:
- The Act provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification.
- The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management.
- The Act defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services).
- These aggregators will be issued licenses by state.
- Further, they must comply with the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Improving Services using e-Governance
- Provision for online driving licenses.
- Process of Vehicle Registration
- Drivers Training
Issues and challenges
- There will be implementation challenges at all-India level.
- Road transport being a subject on the Concurrent List, State governments are also free to make their own laws and rules.
- For effective monitoring of traffic violations and accidents, electronic surveillance is essential. This could involve substantial investment, and it is not clear who will bear the cost.
- Lack of road infrastructure, also need to be taken into account.
- Many also raised the question of the effectiveness of making a Road Safety Board with only advisory powers, instead of making it responsible for deciding road-building standards.
- State governments should ensure transparency and provide a hassle-free experience for citizens at the Regional Transport Offices.
- Vehicle manufacturers should update their technologies and adopt the best global practices regarding vehicles’ and passengers’ safety.
- With an array of embedded sensors informing drivers of other on-road cars, onboard analytics can give them real-time driving suggestions to avoid collisions.
- The Centre must present its National Transport Policy without delay.
- States must be incentivized and use modern management practices to provide clean, comfortable and affordable services for all users.
- Effective implementation is required as zero tolerance enforcement of even small fines reduces violations, while stringent penalties are either not enforced or lead to more bribery.