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Rajya Sabha passes Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha today. Speaking on the occasion Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSME thanked the Members of the House and said that this was a matter of great happiness for him. He said the much needed amendments will improve road safety, facilitate citizens in their dealings with transport departments, strengthen rural transport, public transport and last mile connectivity through automation, computerization and online services. The Minister reiterated that the Bill would, in no way, encroach upon the powers and authorities of the states. He said the Bill would rather empower the states.  He added that the Bill will provide an efficient, safe and corruption free transport system in the country.

The Bill has been passed with three Government amendments and will need to go back to Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on the 23rd of July 2019.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is based on the recommendations of the Group of Transport Ministers (GoM) of States constituted by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to address the issue of road safety and to improve the facilitation of the citizens while dealing with transport departments.  The GoM was headed by Shri. Yoonus Khan, the then Transport Minister of Rajasthan, and had 18 State Transport Ministers from different political parties as members.   On the basis of recommendations of the GoM and other pressing requirements, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways introduced the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016. This, along with amendments, was passed by Lok Sabha on 10th April, 2017. The Bill as passed by Lok Sabha was introduced in Rajya Sabha and was referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha on 08.08.2017. The Select Committee presented its report to the Parliament on 22nd   December, 2017. The Bill was pending in the Rajya Sabha and lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

The amendments in the Bill mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the transport department, strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services. Some of the important areas of amendment are as follows:

Road Safety

In the area of road safety, the Bill proposes to increase penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations.  Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, 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..

Proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill – 2019

Section   Old Provision / Penalty New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties
177 General Rs 100 Rs 500
New 177A Rules of road regulation violation Rs 100 Rs 500
178 Travel without ticket RS 200 Rs 500
179 Disobedience of orders of authorities Rs 500 Rs 2000
180 Unautorized use of vehicles without licence Rs 1000 Rs 5000
181 Driving without licence Rs 500 Rs 5000
182 Driving despite disqualification Rs 500 Rs 10,000
182 B Oversize vehicles New Rs 5000
183 Over speeding Rs 400 Rs 1000 for LMV

Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle

184 Dangerous driving penalty Rs 1000 Upto Rs 5000
185 Drunken driving Rs 2000 Rs 10,000
189 Speeding / Racing Rs 500 Rs 5,000
192 A Vehicle without permit upto Rs 5000 Upto Rs 10,000
193 Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions) New Rs 25,000 to

Rs 1,00,000

194 Overloading Rs 2000 and

Rs 1000 per extra tonne

Rs 20,000 and

Rs 2000 per extra tonne

194 A Overloading of passengers   Rs 1000 per extra passenger
194 B Seat belt Rs 100 Rs 1000
194 C Overloading of two wheelers Rs 100 Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 D Helmets Rs 100 Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 E Not providing way for emergency vehicles New Rs 10,000
196 Driving Without Insurance RS 1000 Rs 2000
199 Offences by Juveniles New Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled
206 Power of Officers to impound documents   Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E
210 B Offences committed by enforcing authorities   Twice the penalty under the relevant section

Vehicle Fitness

The Bill mandates automated fitness testing for vehicles.  This would reduce corruption in the transport department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle.  Penalty has been provided  for deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations as well as body builders and spare part suppliers. The process for testing and certification for automobiles is proposed to be regulated more effectively.  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.The Bill also provides for compulsory recall of defective vehicles and power to examine irregularities of vehicle companies.

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