What are the amendments to the Act?
- In the area of road safety, the amendment proposes to increase penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations. Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence. Penalty regarding motor vehicles is to be increased by 10% every year.
- The amendment mandates automated fitness testing for vehicles. This would reduce corruption in the transport department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act and standards will be set for motor vehicle testing institutes.
- The amendment provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification. The Board will advise the central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management including standards of motor vehicles, registration and licensing of vehicles, standards for road safety, and promotion of new vehicle technology.
- To help road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the amendment. It defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.
- The amendment requires the central government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India. It will be utilised for: treatment of persons injured in road accidents as per the golden hour scheme, compensation to representatives of a person who died in a hit and run accident, compensation to a person grievously hurt in a hit and run accident, and compensation to any other persons as prescribed by the central government.
- The amendment provides for online Learners Licence with mandatory online identity verification. Driving test will be computerized to avoid fake D.L and bring transparency in RTO offices. Commercial licenses will be valid upto five instead of three years.
- To bring harmony to the registration and licensing process, it is proposed to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through “Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms. This will facilitate uniformity of the process across the country.
- The amendment defines aggregators as digital intermediaries or market places which can be used by passengers to connect with a driver for transportation purposes (taxi services) and provides guidelines for Aggregators.