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The Amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 has been brought dated August 9, 2019. It has been the source of chaos among the general public because of hiked penalties that have been brought in by the amendment as compared to the previously existing penalties. However, the law amended here has made the principal act more efficient and more efficient to deal with the issues pertinent in the present scenario.
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 was passed in the year 1988 by the Parliament of India and comprises of regulations concerning road transport vehicles. It provides detailed provisions with regards to licensing of the drivers and conductors, registration of motor vehicles, the provision on controlling their permits, their renewals, traffic regulation, related insurance, liabilities, and penalties.
This act majorly concentrates on innocent pedestrians who are on the road and can get affected by drivers of these motor vehicles and also:
- The road transport vehicle, their registration and fitness related matters.
- The main purpose of this act is to protect and compensate to those who might become the victims of road accident without any fault on their part which is otherwise known as the “Third-party” protection under this law.
- The act also gives various guidelines as to what are the safety measures to be taken while driving. It fixes the penalties to be imposed for any violation of such road norms. It also defines what amounts to the fitness of a person to drive a vehicle or what amounts to the fitness of the vehicle plying on road. It prescribes various penalties for the violation of any of the safety measures that have been mentioned under the act.
What exactly is the amendment about?
The New Amendment Act came which some new and extraordinary reforms which are reflective of the new changing legal system and punishment system. It has tried to revolutionize the Indian Punishment System and tried to enforce the road safety rules by deterrence of strict and hefty monetary penalties. Not only in this way, but it has also brought many new structures of punishment which would prove to be more beneficial in a social aspect. The salient features of the Amendment Act are as follows: –
- The major introduction made in Sec. 200 of the Amendment act is the inclusion of Community Services as a punishment for any crime committed under the concerned sections i.e. under “section 177, section 178, section 179, section 180, section 181, section 182, sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 183, section 184, section 186, section 189, sub-section (2) of section 190, section 191, section 192, section 194, section 196, or section 198, the words, brackets, figures and letters punishable under section 177, section 178, section 179, section 180, section 181, section 182, sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 182A, section 182B, sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 183, section 184 only to the extent of use of handheld communication devices, section 186, section 189, sub-section (2) of section 190, section 192, section 192A, section 194, section 194A, section 194B, section 194C, section 194D, section 194E, section 194F, section 196, section 198”.
- This Act can also be called as an environmentally friendly law as it empowers the Central Government to recall all the vehicles which do not comply with the norms of plying on-road or can cause any sort of harm to the environment. Moreover, the amendment act also talks about the vehicles that do not comply with the road safety measures of any sort, heavy fines can be imposed, and the vehicle can be seized, and the owner can be held severely liable.
- The Act protects Good Samaritans. It has been established by the law that in case of three circumstances i.e. in case any help has been done in good faith or voluntary, and without the expectation of any reward, in these circumstances, such a person, shall not be made criminally liable under any circumstances.
- There have been serious hikes in the fines and penalties to be paid for the offences that were earlier present i.e. for Drink and drive, the fine has been increased to Rs. 10,000, Driving though disqualified for which fine earlier was Rs. 500 is now Rs. 5000 – 10,000 and many such hikes. Even the vehicle manufactures can be made liable to a penalty of up to Rs. 100 crores if they fail to comply with the motor vehicle standards.
- Another important concept that has been introduced in the Amendment Act is the concept of “Taxi Aggregator”. According to this concept, it would be an electronic or digital medium where the passengers can communicate with taxi drivers for transportation purposes. These aggregators are to be licensed by the state government and would be the Information Technology Act, 2000. The major reason for bringing in this definition is to bring in the matter disputes related to Ola, Uber and other such aggregators already present in the society.
This amendment has created a lot of change among the general public due to the sudden hike in the fines and penalties to be levied. Moreover, the Act has also empowered the Central Government to a 10% increase in the fines and penalties per annum. But the positive aspect is that such a deterrence created in the public’s mind has led to public obeying the rules and regulations. The Amendment is very recent, and its impact would be seen soon to come; the present scenario says that such a ban amendment has proved to be effective and is efficient to deal with the ongoing traffic problems and road accident issues.
There is always a scope for further developments. Looking into the current scenario and reaction of the people it can be claimed that the law was addressed the issues pertinent in the correct way. But it would be time that will be giving its verdict. The control would be how long and how long the deterrence will have its impact on the people? These questions will be addressed by time and that’s when the efficiency and effect of this law shall be commented.
-This article is brought to you in collaboration with Anshuman Mishra from Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Visakhapatnam.