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Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill 2017 Highlights With Opinion

In 2015, road accidents increased by 2.5%. In the same year, the number of people killed and injured in road accidents saw a rise by 4.6% and 1.4% respectively. If reports are to be believed, road accidents take away one life in every four minutes.

Amid these appalling statistical data, the Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill 2017 surfaces as a ray of hope. Of course only if implemented, will we be able to witness a drastic downward movement in the statistical figures. Although the Bill has been passed by Lok Sabha, it is yet to receive a green signal from Rajya Sabha in the coming monsoon session of Parliament.  Meanwhile most of us await a positive response on the Bill; we bring to you the highlights of the proposals made in the Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill 2017. 

  1. Aadhaar will be obligatory for the one seeking driving licence and vehicle registration.
  2. A compensation of ₹2 lakhs to be provided to the victim’s family in the event of deaths by hit-and-run cases. At present this compensation stands at ₹25,000.
  3. A mandatory insurance cover for specific kind of accidents will be provided to all who access roads in India.
  4. Drunk driving will attract a fine of ₹10,000 from current ₹2,000.
  5. While over-speeding will cost a fine of ₹1000-₹2000 from current ₹400, avoiding the use of seat belt will draw a fine of ₹1000.
  6. Driving without licence currently costs one ₹500. The Bill has proposed a fine of ₹5,000 against the defaulter.
  7. A fine of ₹1000-₹5000 for using mobile phones while driving.
  8. Rash driving will attract ₹1000-₹5000 fine.
  9. For specially-abled individuals, the Bill compels to alter vehicles.
  10. For third party, the current Bill has a cap of maximum liability of ₹10 lakhs in case of death and ₹5 lakhs in case of serious injury. However, the proposed Bill has removed the cap.
  11. Contractors et al. will be held liable for flawed designs and constructions.

If the proposed Bill is implemented, the country is expected to witness a downward steep in road accidents and fatalities. This can be a giant leap by the government towards its commitment of curtailing road accidents to 50 percent by the end of the decade.

How is the Bill going to impact Insurance sector?

Safety of the lives of the customers is what every insurer would wish for. In fact, to ensure that their customers live a longer and healthier life, insurers today are investing in creating different awareness programmes including activities against alcohol and tobacco consumption. Some insurers like Apollo Munich and Aditya Birla reimburse some percent of the premium to those customers who make additional efforts in the direction of a healthier lifestyle. Likewise, the proposed Bill if implemented will ensure safety on the road. This will eventually protect people’s lives thereby safeguarding the interest of the insurers. Therefore, the Bill is sure to have a positive impact on insurance sector. 

 Source of Statistical information: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Report-2015

(Source and Credits: The Economic Times)

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