Post Budget in March, a new bill will be passed in the Parliament for traffic rules via Motor Vehicle Act. The Union Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2007.
According to the proposed amendment, the use of mobile phones or iPads while driving could be subjected to a fine of Rs 500 for the first offence, with Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 chargeable for the second time. This includes everything from, talking on the phone, sending messages, listening to voice mails and use of hands free.
Now jumping the red light for the first time will fetch you Rs 100 to Rs 500. And a second traffic violation under this will cost Rs 300 to Rs 1,500.
For over-speeding, a fine ranging between Rs 400 and Rs 1,000 can be imposed for the first offence and for the second offence Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000.
There is no substantial change in the penalty of rash driving. For the first offence you will pay a penalty of Rs 1000 and/or six months in jail. While the same offence a second time will cost you between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000.
The bill has categorized driving influence as follows:
- In cases where the alcohol level is between 30-60mg per 100ml of blood, the offender will be subjected to six months in jail and/or Rs 2,000 fine.
- In cases where the alcohol level is between 60-150mg per 100ml of blood, the offender will be subjected to one year jail and/or Rs 4,000 fine.
- For alcohol levels of over 150mg per 100ml of blood, the offender will get a penalty of two years imprisonment and/or Rs 5,000 fine.
- Incase, a person is found driven under the influence of narcotic substances, he/she could be liable for six-month imprisonment and/or Rs 5,000 fine. For a repeated offence, the fine could go put to Rs 10,000 along with six months of imprisonment and even restriction of driving license.
Incase of death in a road accident, the compensation proposed has been hiked from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000. Incase of serious injury, compensation would be Rs 50,000.
As per the new bill, motor insurance claims have to be filed within a year of the accident. However, about 14 lacs such cases are pending in courts.
Joshi said that only hiking fines was not enough to bring down road deaths. “It will have an impact if we have better enforcement. But we need to see how accidents can be brought down on rural roads,” he added.
S.P. Singh of Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training also realized that making fines steeper will not solve the current scenario. “There is a need for stricter norms to suspend and revoke licenses in second and third offences for speeding and drunk driving”, he said. The government has cleared several measures to bring down road accidents, which has no regard to dealing with overloading. The amendment bill of 2007 has provisions of making the booking agents and consignees responsible for overloading. However, there is no clue to when this law will be enforced.