The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 reintroduced in 2017 was recommended by State Transport Ministry to make Indian roads safer, the bill was passed in Loksabha while still pending in rajya sabha.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The bill provides for a National Road Safety Board and takes into account taxi aggregators, third party insurance, computerisation of licensing authorities etc. The bill also proposes an increase in the existing fines for breaking road rules.

The process of obtaining a driving licence will be online to eradicate the need of a middle man, where driving tests will be automated and learner?s licences will be issued online.

A number of categories has been added regarding driving licence validity, the previous act of 1988 had provisions of DL validity for 20 years until a person turns 50, and for five-year periods after the age of 50.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has removed the cap on payments to be made under third-party insurance, the amount was capped in 2016 version of the Bill.

The new bill also has a provision regarding "Vehicle recall", under this rule the manufacturer has to recall defective vehicle posing danger to the environment, the driver or other road users. The manufacturer in such cases has to reimburse full cost of the vehicle or replace the defective vehicle, and if necessary pay a fine as specified by the government.

The old act provided 12,000 Rupees for grievous injury and 25,000 for death, while the amendment bill provides 50,000 Rupees for grievous injury and 2 lakh or more for death.

According to bill an "Aggregator" is defined as "a digital intermediary or market place for a passenger to connect with a driver for the purpose of transportation."

States have earlier used central government rules to formulate their own. However, given the State's jurisdiction on this matter, they should formulate their own policies to use aggregators to their full potential.

Aggregators, now have to be compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the proposed bill also seeks to regulate them.

A new Solatium Fund has been introduced under the new bill, the money for the same will come either from the government, or from a grant or loan. 1988 Act already has a Solatium Fund for victims of hit-and-run accidents.

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