There is rapid growth in the vehicle population in the country. The excess growth has resulted in traffic congestion, increased numbers of deaths and road accidents, pollution. Thousands of vehicles are added daily and that without proper improvement infrastructure, which contributes to pollution accidents. The existing Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 was archaic and is need to amendment for road safety improvements.
The Motor Vehicles Act is an Act of the Parliament regulating transport movement in the country. The original The Motors Vehicles Act, 1988 was enacted on 14th October 1988 and enforced on 1st July 1989. It comprises of XIV chapters and has 217A sections. The Act provides the parliamentary provisions of licensing of drivers, various permits, special provisions.
Indian Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017
This amendment was a beneficiary upgrade in the vehicles' law and was passed by the Lok Sabha and then to the Rajya Sabha. The again looked into by a Committee of 18 Transport Ministers of States. It did not pass in the Rajya Sabha and was lapsed due to dissolution of the Lok Sabha. Major amendments are
o - 7 years of imprisonment instead of 2 years for drinking driving death cases.
o Mandatory 3rd party insurance
o Strict penalties for traffic rules breakers to reduce accident rates.
o Body cameras on traffic police and RTO officials to regulate corruption.
Indian Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019
The earlier bill, 2017 lapsed at the end of the last session, so it was reintroduced in the Lok Sabha by Mr Nitin Gadkari. The bill finally passed on 23rd July in both houses and became an Act. India is a signatory nation at the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety. The country has committed to reducing the number of a fatal road accident to half by 2020.
The main objectives for the Acts are:
· Road Safety Standards, pollution control measures.
· Instil a sense of discipline among the drivers.
· Make Indian roads safer for pedestrians and drivers.
· Effective ways of tracking down traffic rules breakers.
· Provision for issuing Driving License authorized by testing stations.
· Permits regarding national goods carriage, all- India tourist movements.
· Maintenance of state register of DL's and vehicle registration.
· Punishment against certain offences.
The Act provides many proposals like free treatment of road accident victims within 1 hour of the accident and can be saved by treatment. The people who showed up and helped the victims will also not questioned so much. It is mentioned in Section 2 (12A) which was inserted in the bill, and is called the golden hour.
The new act has also increased the penalty for various offences.
1) Driving without a license- The penalty has been increased from Rs 1000 up to Rs. 5000. Earlier the penalty was Rs. 500. The fine for driving although disqualified against has increased up to Rs. 10,000.
2) Driving without Helmet- The penalty has increased to Rs. 1000.
3) The penalty for over-speeding to Rs. 5000.
4) No seat belt- this will attract a penalty of Rs.1000 against Rs.100 at present.
5) To talk over a phone while driving will fine you Rs. 5000 against Rs. 1000.
6) Drunken driving- According to the new provisions, the drunk driving offence is subject to 6 months of imprisonment and/or up-to Rs.10,000 of fine, for the first time. The second offence will lead to 2 years of jail and Rs.15,000 of fine.
7) Increased penalty on overloaded vehicles.
8) A new facility is available to the public, i.e., to "subscribe" a car. Till consumers can either "hire" a car or "own" a car. Under this provision, four automobile companies will provide the facility of subscribing cars. The model can be bought up at a zero-down payment. You only need to give a fixed monthly subscription fee and fuel cost.
9) Traffic violators will be fined will heavy penalty, builders will be held accountable for poor infrastructure, vehicles’ owner will be held criminally liable for offences committed by juvenile drivers. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
10) Aadhar card is a must for making a Driving License (DL) or getting a vehicle registered.
11) For hit and run cases, the government provides just a Compensation of Rs. 25,000. But the new provisions will provide compensation up to Rs. 2 lakhs or more to the victim's family.
12) Earlier for the renewal of DL, the period was only one month. But now it has been increased to one year before and after the expiry date.
A recent case was filed in the Delhi High Court against the procedure of issuing challans. These challans are being issued under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. The petition filed claimed that the issued were arbitrary and wrong. These challans were issued without proper technology.
A case was filed in which a person was fined for not wearing a mask. The petition was filed stating that the petitioner was travelling alone in his private vehicle. The government has made it compulsory to wear a mask in public places in and not following the guidelines would lead to issuing of challan but there is no notification stating that person travelling alone in his private vehicle should also wear a mask. So, the issue of challan of the petitioner was "arbitrary and faulty". The petitioner stated that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has not made it compulsory to wear a mask I private vehicles but is compulsory at public and places of work.
Another petition was filed under the Motors Vehicles Act, 2019 which also claimed the issued challans to be faulty. The advocate of the petitioner argued that there is a need to repair the faulty equipment which is used for issuing challans. Technologies like, the speed detector, drunken driving breath analyzer, red-light violators detector are not in accordance with the present changing situations.
The E-challan is a facility introduced by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and highway through which the traffic violators will be able to pay the fine through online mode. This system has been introduced in only across 15 states in the country. The main aim is to ensure that the fine goes directly to the concerned authorities. The system is integrated and the user can simply visit the website which is an android based mobile app. The user can visit by entering their vehicle registration number.
1) If any challan is being issued, then a person should be present there to make that like for example if a challan is issued for not wearing a helmet then a helmet shop should be present there and that amount charged should be used to buy the helmet. Or if any pollution registration is not there, then an official person should be maintained at the check post to immediately get the registration done.
This will make traffic violators controlled and that will be a public service.
2) There can be a board of list of charges at the check posts.
It's high time, people need to understand the rules and regulations of the traffic.
We find bikers driving on the wrong side. More than this is an illegal act, is dangerous and fatal. Therefore, the authorities have increased the penalties to teach the public the safety rules.
 [no. 32 of 2019]
 '(12A) "golden hour" means the period lasting one hour following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care;';