In a country like India that’s already bludgeoned with endlessly existing traffic snarls, not to mention a population explosion of sorts in terms of the sheer number of vehicles on the road, one’s got to be careful and increasingly so where it comes to being mindful of the laws, or should one say of traffic laws?
But instances of inappropriate conduct on the road tantamounting to a direct violation of traffic laws is a common sight across the country. There’s this tendency to treat laws with disdain and to tread carelessly on the roads.
Each year several hundreds of thousands of innocents either become participants in unforeseen, unpredicted accidents or become fatal victims on the road as a part of paying no adherence to the traffic laws whatsoever.
What can be done in that scenario? Form stricter traffic laws, right? That’s exactly what the government has done in order to enforce a fear of the law for all motorists and commuters alike. So what are the new traffic law violations that one has to be careful about?
To begin with, in a drastic departure from hitherto followed traffic violations, the new amendments in the motor vehicle laws directly target the wards, i.e., the guardians. So how’s that?
Here’s what you ought to know. If your son or daughter happens to be caught violating the traffic laws, then the parents can be fined up to INR (Rs.) 25,000. Furthermore, you could even face an arrest. How’s that for a start?
In a bid to improve road safety, expunge corruption and bring greater advocacy of the traffic laws for all citizens at parity, the Rajya Sabha passed a new Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2019 a few days ago.
The new legislation seeks to carry out stricter punishments- than before- for breaking various kinds of traffic laws or to put it simply, traffic law violations. But along with higher penalties, there’s also greater compensation that one would be liable to get in case of road-fatalities owing to accidents. For instance, in the case of death, a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh has been proposed, while compensation of Rs 2.5 Lakh has been proposed for grievous injuries in a motor-related accident.
Furthermore, an interesting and must it be said, a much-needed punishment has been introduced in cases of sheer carelessness displayed regarding not allowing emergency vehicles to pass. Many a time it’s been seen that emergency vehicles such as ambulances get caught up on traffic jams for no fault of theirs and a result, the uninitiated delay results in putting an already ‘at-risk’ patient furthermore toward danger.
A fine of Rs 10,000 will be imposed toward not giving way to emergency vehicles. Just, right? There’s also a fine of a similar amount for driving despite disqualification.
The new bill- to be approved by the Lok Sabha before being considered a finality- also proposes penalties that are in the range of Rs 1000-2000 for overspeeding.
Additionally, pay heed to the following penalties you can be stuck with for violating various kinds of traffic laws:
Jumping Traffic Light, Using Mobile Phone: such a scenario would attract a penalty of Rs. 5000 and even a jail term up to 1 year.
Travel without a ticket: this would cost a fine of Rs. 500.
Disobedience of orders of the authorities: such an action would attract a fine of Rs. 2000, while earlier the fine was Rs. 500.
Unauthorized use of vehicles without a license: such a measure would exact a penalty of Rs. 5000.
Driving without a license: Perhaps among the biggest traffic law violations in our country, this would attract a fine of Rs. 5000.
Overspeeding: A dangerous habit and one fraught with complexities and uncertainties galore, this action would attract a fine of Rs. 1000 for LMV (Light-weight vehicles) and Rs. 2000 for medium passenger vehicles. As of 2018, official numbers suggest that overspeeding led to 66 percent of all road accidents in the country.
Dangerous driving penalty: offenders would be fined Rs. 5000.
Drunk-driving: if caught drinking whilst driving or vice-versa, there would be a fine of Rs. 10,000.
Seat belt: no seat-belt is all too common a scenario at a Pan-India level- isn’t it? But henceforth, driving without a seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs. 1000.
Overloading of two-wheelers: It could lead to a fine of Rs. 2000 or could even lead to disqualification for 3 months.
Helmets: if you happen to be involved in traffic law violations like these then think again in the future. You could end up paying Rs. 1000.
What are the new provisions under the Motor Vehicles Bill, 2019?
Oversize vehicles: a new provision under the motor vehicles bill, oversize vehicles would be fined Rs. 5000.
Offenses by juveniles: often, a lead cause of fatalities or remorseful, irreversible mishaps on the road, the offenses conducted by juveniles are massive traffic law violations.
But henceforth, in such cases, the guardians will have to bear a penalty of Rs. 25,000 and strong actions shall be imposed by the agencies in such careless incidents where the ward may end up behind the bars for up to 3 years.
All that said, here’s why the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill is important for India?
According to the official numbers with the hon’ble Govt. of India, there’s a need to be extra cautious where it comes to upholding the safety and sanctity of the roads in a bid to keep motorists and commuters off traffic law violations.
The urgency of this need stems from what can only be called staggering and moving numbers. It appears that from 2015 to 2017- road accidents in India killed 1.46 lakh- 1.5 lakh people, every year.
Additionally, to quote a statistic from Business Standard, it’s important to make note of the following:
Among vehicle categories involved in road accidents, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share (33.9%) in total accidents and fatalities (29.8%) in 2017.
These are telling numbers that point to an immediacy with which stricter laws must be brought into place to ensure more decorum and safety on the Indian roads.
Picture Courtesy: India Today