India, the country with the world’s second largest road network, has the highest number of road accidents due to negligence and omissions of drivers and neglect of rules and regulations. Alcohol consumption is the main reason behind this mistake. 70 percent of accidents in the country occur due to negligence of drivers. About 10 percent of accidents are due to technical fault of vehicles, six percent due to bad weather and bad roads are responsible for the remaining four percent.
Driving license is evident that the negligence of drivers is the most important of these accidents. It is not hidden from anyone that almost the entire traffic department of the country suffers from heavy corruption. It is said about developed countries that getting a driving license there is like getting a degree. While in its corrupt system it is possible to get a license even without meeting the basic conditions. Rather it would not be an exaggeration to say that people are easily given license here, bypassing all the rules. But the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 has made a provision to make the driving license rules more stringent. It has also addressed several challenges by introducing technology in the licensing process.
Emphasis on fixing technical flaws
One of the main causes of road accidents in India is that despite technical faults, the vehicle continues to be used. But now, the amended Act enforcing international standards, provides that if a vehicle turns out to be technically or mechanically defective, the manufacturer concerned will have to bring it back. The test system for new vehicles will be changed and improved. There is talk of tightening the tire companies too. If there is an accident due to car or tire malfunction then the companies concerned will be responsible. Similarly, the companies manufacturing national highways have also been tightened. If there is an accident due to bad roads, then there is no accountability of the road-building engineers on it. But in this amendment, they are also being brought under the ambit of law and heavy fines are being arranged on them.
Strict adherence to traffic rules
Another reason for road accidents is very common and is the tendency to ignore traffic rules. The Central Government, taking the violation of traffic rules seriously, has made a provision for imposing heavy fines in the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act. The bill may require payment of up to one lakh rupees as penalty for violation of certain traffic related rules. The vehicle owner will be held guilty for driving by a minor and may face a fine of Rs 25,000 with three years in jail and can also get the vehicle registration canceled. Apart from this, a fine of one thousand rupees is included for driving without a helmet and suspension of license for three months. All such steps have been taken in this Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019, which can definitely reduce road accidents. The only need is that these measures be strictly implemented.
A provision of the Insurance and Compensation Motor Vehicle Amendment Act is also about third party insurance, in which the compensation amount has been increased to provide relief to the affected party in case of an accident. There is also a need to uphold the honesty of insurance companies and car owners in this regard, because many times the needy people are unable to bear compensation under the insurance, while the people with access charge huge amount even in a minor accident. This work is possible only when an accountable and transparent culture of working in the functioning of government and market is developed.
One aspect of the amendment act is also related to imposing harsh punishments for violation of traffic rules. Won’t people violate traffic rules by tightening the rules? Is the ability of law enforcement agencies so much that they are available to enforce the law at every point of all the roads of the country? Although the answers to these questions remain unanswered. People feel that they will miss the money. People do not come forward to help the crashed people, Because the police harass them in many ways. Coordination between central and state governments is necessary to overcome this crisis. They have to follow the rules strictly and make people aware. The common people will have to overcome the fear that the police will not bother them by helping the crashed person. Apart from this, it is responsible for the design of the road and the implementation of traffic management schemes on the road.
This aspect has not been detailed in previous legislation. But in this amended Act, Road Designers, Consultants and Stakeholder Agency have been made responsible for design and operation. Certainly this act will help in making the roads more safe. However, a strong side to prevent road accidents is for citizens to understand their obligation to the nation and to follow proper traffic rules.
In this amended act, which is very important, by providing legal protection to the Rahm Dil people who help the injured in road accidents in the country, encouraging others to become vulnerable to the injured. It is true that road accidents cannot be completely eliminated, but millions of lives can be saved by reducing them. For this, public awareness is necessary along with curbing corruption in the respective departments. Apart from this, uniform standards need to be applied in the maintenance of vehicles, their operation, drivers qualification and other matters.