Chennai: The Union Cabinet has cleared the New Motor Vehicles Bill with stiff punishment penalties for traffic offenders and focusing on underage driving among other things. The Bill will soon become law after passing through the upcoming session of Parliament.
Among the salient features of the Bill, welcomed by most citizens aware of its provisions and what it could do to the chaotic conduct of the road-users, is the proposal to fine up to Rs 10,000 for not making way to emergency vehicles (such as the ambulance) and similar sum for driving a vehicle despite being disqualified, said sources.
If only the CCTV network works well and is properly linked to a constant monitoring system, it would be possible for the police-in Chennai particularly-to earn a bonanza by way of fines and penalties collected from the offenders indulging in drink-driving, reckless driving, over-speeding, underage driving, overloading and so on. Fine for driving without licence would be Rs 5,000 and double that for drink-driving. And in the event of underage driving, owners of the vehicle/ guardian will be held responsible for the traffic offence committed by the juvenile; there could be a fine of Rs.25,000 plus three years in jail and cancellation of the vehicle's registration.
One must, however, assume that the 'diligent' cop at roadside does not milk the offender flagging the fattened 'tariff-card' at him.
The new Bill also aims to control the challenge posed to road safety by cab operators; it proposes fine up to Rs. one lakh to those violating driving licence-related offences. Another welcome feature is that the Bill proposes double penalties if the offence is done by the enforcing authorities.
The Bill also proposes to strengthen the driving training process across the country. It has provisions to encourage the bypassers to attend to the victims of road accidents as 'good Samaritans', without any fear of being hauled up as witnesses or whatever....