The Union Cabinet on Monday approved proposed changes to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. The bill looks into issues such as road safety, penalties for violation or rules, strengthening of the public transportation system as well as curbing corruption. The proposed amendment seeks to raise the penalty for drunk driving by five times to Rs 10,000, while penalty for speeding or racing could jump tenfold to Rs 5,000.
The proposed amendment also seeks to ensure that people who come forward to help victims of road accident are not harassed. The bill also caps the maximum liability of the third party at Rs 10 lakh in an accident causing death and Rs 5 lakh in an accident causing serious injury.
The amendment also proposes that ride-hailing firms may have to cough up Rs 1 lakh if they violate licencing conditions.
The new law could also make the registration process for new vehicles simpler and Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining driving licence and vehicle registration. The amendment also proposes increasing the validity of a driving licence. Currently a driving licence is valid for 20 years until a person is 50 years old. It also seeks to add various categories with varying validity. If the licence holder, for instance, is between 30 to 50 years of age, then his licence will be valid for 10 years, compared to the 20 years currently.
The bill also seeks to allow the Centre to recall defective vehicles causing harm to the environment and to people.
A national transportation policy that looks into road permit schemes and overall framework of transport system has also been proposed in the amendment.
The amendment bill will be tabled by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry in the ongoing Parliament session.
The bill that aims to amend five dozen sections and introduce over 20 new ones was approved in 2017 at the Lok Sabha but did not garner support in the Rajya Sabha. It has to get approval from both the houses in order to be implemented.