Intelligent driving solutions feature in new Motor Bill

September 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: Intelligent speed adaptation, driver alert control and eye drowsiness detectors are some of the features proposed in new Motor Bill that seeks to prevent at least 2 lakh road accident deaths in next five years through hefty penalties and jail-terms.

The Narendra Modi government has unveiled an ambitious ‘vision’ for reducing road fatalities by 20 per cent annually as part of the draft Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014, concerned over an alarming 1.38 lakh road accident deaths, the highest in the globe.

Motor Vehicles regulation provides for “technologies such as intelligent speed adaptation, driver alert control, eye drowsiness detectors, distance closure rate detection and green box monitoring,” as per the draft unveiled yesterday.

Driver drowsiness detection is a car safety device which prevents accidents when the driver is getting drowsy.

The Bill is aimed at bringing down fatalities in road accidents by two lakh in the first five years in a scenario where India reports around 5 lakh road accidents annually.

The Bill provides for simplified single-window automated driving licence systems including unified biometric systems to avoid licence duplication.

Among various measures to ensure road safety, the draft provides for wearing of belt by driver and passenger.

“A person is guilty of an offence if such person does not wear a seat belt, as a driver or passenger, when driving or riding in a motor vehicle on a road,” it said.

Also, the draft makes it mandatory for bus and other passengers to wear seat belts.

In case of children below 8 years it says, “except as provided by regulations, a parent or guardian of the child, or in the absence of such parent or guardian, the driver of the motor vehicle must not without reasonable excuse allow a child below the age of eight years to occupy the front seat of a motor vehicle when the vehicle is in motion.”

The Bill provides for up to Rs 5,000 penalty for violation of provisions related to wearing seat belts while in case of head gears it is Rs 2,500.

Seeking to come down heavily on traffic offenders, it proposes penalty of up to Rs 3 lakh along with a minimum 7-year imprisonment for death of a child in certain circumstances, besides huge fines for driving violations.

It also proposes a fine of Rs 5 lakh per vehicle as well as imprisonment for faulty manufacturing design, besides cancellation of licences for rash and negligent driving.

The Bill, unveiled by Road Transport and Highways Ministry for seeking suggestion from stakeholders, proposes penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment for six months which may extend to one year or both in case of using vehicle in unsafe conditions

First offence for drunk driving will attract “Rs 25,000 fine, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or with both, and a six-month license suspension.”

“Second offence within three years will result in Rs 50,000 penalty or imprisonment for up to one year or both and a one year licence suspension.

“Any subsequent offence shall result in the cancellation of the licence, and impounding of the vehicle which may extend for 30 days,” draft Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014 said.

If school bus drivers are caught driving drunk, Rs 50,000 fine will be imposed with imprisonment for three years while “immediate cancellation” of licence will take place in case of drivers in the age-group of 18 to 25 years involved in such incidences.

Causing death of a child in certain circumstances will result in “Rs 3 lakh fine, and imprisonment for a term not less than 7 years” while violating traffic signal three times will result in Rs 15,000 fine, licence cancellation for a month and a compulsory refresher training, it said.

It also provides for graded point system for imposing fines.

The ministry has sought comments from public and stakeholders on the Bill and will thereafter finalise it for presentation to Parliament and passage during the ensuing winter session.

Commenting on the Bill, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said: “Providing safe, efficient, cost effective and faster transport across the country is our mission…Our new Bill gives emphasis on E-governance to bring in transparency in the transport sector. Our new ‘golden hour’ policy will provide immediate relief to accident victims and will help save lakhs of lives.

The Golden Hour policy provides for treatment to road accident victims within one hour.

Other features include unified vehicle registration system, single National Road Transport & Multinational Coordination Authority and Goods Transport and National Freight Policy.

It encompasses provisions for safety of vehicles, including implementation of safety equipment of motor vehicles.

The Bill has been drafted in sync with the best practises of six advanced nations – US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany and the UK.

It aims to ensure electronic detection and centralised offences information to identify repeat-offenders.

The Bill proposes constitution of Highway Traffic Regulation and Protection Force constituted and maintained by the state governments, for the purpose of effective policing and enforcement of traffic regulations on highways.

The Bill proposes a Motor Accident Fund for the purpose of providing compulsory insurance cover to all road users in the territory of India.

Several provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, especially those related to penalties for violations, have not been found to be effective in checking road accidents. The Act was last amended in 2001.

Source:The Economic Times

Share your comments here: