New Delhi: The recently amended Motor Vehicles Act will reduce the number of deaths due to road accidents, and will along bring discipline and accountability on Indian roads, minister of environment and information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday.
Javadekar was addressing the media on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s 100 days at office in its second consecutive term while presenting a report card.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 that got the President’s assent on 9 August, seeks to revamp transportation rules and improve road safety through hefty penalties for traffic rule violations, upgradation of technology, and also aims to weed out corruption.
The minister said the stiff penalties will reduce the number of fatalities and injuries due to road accidents. As many as 1.5 lakh people die and 4 lakh are injured every year due to road accidents, he said, adding that the heavy penalties—for not wearing seatbelts, helmets, driving without a licence, among others—are steps to curb such mishaps.
Under the new law, penalty for driving without licence has been increased 10 times to ₹5,000, while penalty for drunk driving has been increased by five times to ₹10,000. Not giving way to emergency service vehicles will attract as much ₹10,000 penalty. Besides, fines have been increased manifold for breaking other traffic related rules such as driving without licence and insurance related documents, driving without wearing helmets, seatbelts, carrying more passengers than the vehicle’s capacity, among others. These fines came into effect 1 September.
Commenting on media reports that said a person from Delhi was fined a whopping ₹23,000 for not wearing a helmet and not carrying vehicle-related documents, Javadekar said hefty fines are for the citizens’ good and the situation will change over the months.
“The situation will change in the next two-three months. There will be more discipline on the roads," Javadekar said.