At a time when ratings agencies are under tremendous pressure from the regulator and investigating agencies, CARE Ratings sent out a report that says Aadhaar was mandatory for vehicle registration and driving licence as per the new Bill.
What is shocking is the ratings agency did not even bother to check the original Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill available on Lok Sabha website and seems to have used press release from the Press Information Bureau (PIB), which has since been rectified.
One would have expected CARE to verify all the details before sending out a note on the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill. But it appears that they did not even bother to check the original Bill that is available in the public domain as soon as it was passed by the Lok Sabha. As someone commented, “This is like I will write the exam only by reading guide books and not even refer the original text books!”
To confirm, contrary to several media reports and a release from the PIB (this is now rectified), the news Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill as passed by the Rajya Sabha (with three amendments) does not have provision for mandatory Aadhaar for vehicle registration and driving licence.
The bill as passed by the Lok Sabha
and sent to the upper house states: "Provided also that the licensing authority may, before issuing the license, verify the identity of the applicant in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government."
There is no mention of Aadhaar. Yet, several media made it appear like Aadhaar is mandatory for vehicle registration and driving licence. In addition, the Bill has not yet become a law as Rajya Sabha has suggested three amendments. This means, the Bill will be sent back to Lok Sabha for consideration and passing.
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 computerisation and enabling online services.
According to CARE Ratings, the proposed steep increase in penalties and fines to ensure stricter adherence to traffic norms, would act as a deterrent to offenders and making the Indian roads better and safer.
However, "We do not expect significant impact of the amended provisions of the bill on automobile sales going forward," the ratings agency says.
Here are some of the important proposals in the bill as summarised by CARE Ratings, including revised list of fines and penalties to be paid by the traffic rules violators:
1. In traffic violations by juveniles, the guardians or owner of the vehicle would be held responsible unless they prove the offence was committed without their knowledge or they tried to prevent it. The registration of the motor vehicle in question will be cancelled. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
2. For deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs2 lakh or more to the victim's family, up from Rs25,000 currently
3. The bill has provision for protection of Good Samaritans. Those who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability. The option lies with them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel
4. Drunk Driving: The minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased to Rs10,000 from Rs2,000
5. The fine has been increased to Rs5,000 from Rs1,000 for rash driving
6. Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs5,000 as against Rs500 at present
7. The fine has been increased to Rs2,000 from Rs500, in case of disobedience of orders of the authorities
8. The fine for over-speeding will go up to Rs1,000-2,000 from Rs400
9. Not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs1,000 as against Rs100 at present
10. Talking on a mobile phone or jumping traffic light while driving will attract a fine of Rs5,000 and a jail term of up to one year, up from Rs1,000
11. A Motor Vehicle Accident Fund will provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents
12. It will be mandatory to alter vehicles to make them suitable for especially abled people
13. Contractors, consultants and civic agencies will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads leading to accidents
14. A time limit of six months has been specified for an application of compensation to the Claims Tribunal with regard to road accidents
15. The Bill removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance. The 2016 Bill had capped the maximum liability at Rs10 lakh in case of death and Rs5 lakh in case of critical injury
16. The time limit for renewal of driving licence is increased from one month to one year before and after the expiry date
17. The government can recall vehicles whose components or engine do not meet the required standards. Manufacturers can be fined up to Rs500 crore in case of sub-standard components or engine
18. Penalty for use of a vehicle without permit has been proposed at Rs10,000
19. Overloading of vehicles would attract a penalty of Rs20,000 and Rs2,000 per extra tonne. Meanwhile, overloading of passengers will attract a penalty of Rs1,000 per extra passenger
20. Over-loading of Two wheeler vehicles would attract a penalty of Rs2,000 and could also lead to disqualification of licence for three months
Here are the proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill – 2019