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Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 is one of the many Bills that were passed in the previous Lok Sabha but lapsed due to completion of tenure in May 2019 and reintroduced in the current session. It has received the Lok Sabha’s nod on Tuesday.

The Bill still needs Rajya Sabha and the President’s nod to get notified for commencement. Following is the gist of changes proposed in the bill:

  1. Condition to undergo “driving refresher training course” for reviving license after suspension/revocation under Section 19, and also for compounding of traffic offences under Section 200 has been introduced.
  2. Provision has been suggested to regulate licensing of cab aggregators, by amending Section 93 of the Act, and also by introducing definition of “aggregator” under Section 2(1A).
  3. Through amendment to Section 200, punishment in the form of ‘Community Service’ can be imposed for traffic violations.
  4. The duration of license as well as period of renewal for expired license have been changed.
  5. The new Section 134A has introduced the concept of good Samaritans whereby a person, who has rendered care or assistance to an accident victim in any way, is protected against the hassles of civil or criminal proceedings in connection with the accident.
  6. The Central Government, under the new Sec 110A can issue directions to manufacture to recall vehicle or components in cases of defects reported by significant number of users.
  7. Section 198A proposes to impose liability on contractor, concessionaire or designated authority when their failure to follow prescribed design and standards results in death or injury.
  8. Guardian or owner of vehicle will be liable for accidents caused by juveniles
  9. Insurer will be exonerated of liability in case of non-payment of premium.
  10. Section 164 along with the Second Schedule that charts the compensation for fatal and non-fatal accidents stand repealed. In its place, Section 163A fixes payment of rupees five lakhs in cases of death, and rupees two lakhs and fifty thousand in cases of grievous hurt. Further, proviso to Section 165(1) states that acceptance of payment under Section 164 will result in lapse of claim.
  11. A deleted provision has made a come-back. Claim petition must be filed within six months from the date of accident.
  12. The right of a person to claim compensation for injury in an accident shall, upon the death of the person injured, survive to his legal representatives, irrespective of whether the cause of death is relatable to or had any nexus with the injury or not. The earlier position of law caused a claim to fail if the claimant eventually died and such death had no nexus with the accident in question.
  13. Compensation payable to victims of hit and run cases has been enhanced.
  14. A new Motor Vehicles Accident Fund is to be instituted by levying a special tax. The purpose is to provide immediate financial relief to accident victims; the same shall be eventually deductiblefrom the compensation which the victim may get in future from the Tribunal.
  15. Central Government to develop a National Transportation Policy in consultation with the State Governments for grant of transport permits.
  16. Permits for inter-state transport of passengers and goods will no longer be the exclusive domain of states. Section 88A empowers Central Government to form rules. In case of repugnancy between schemes by states and scheme by Central Government, the schemes by Central Government will prevail.
  17. Introduction of Road Safety Board that will advise on matters relating to road safety.
  18. Enhancement of penalties for road traffic violations, including introduction of a few new violations.

-India Legal Bureau 

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