To check rising incidents of accidents, the government has proposed a series of amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, which seek to widen the scope of ‘dangerous driving’.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new provisions where use of cellphone while driving, jumping traffic lights, crossing the stop sign and driving opposite the flow of traffic will soon incur fines of up to Rs. 5000 for the first offence and double that for repeat violations.
The traffic police are empowered to confiscate an offender’s licence, which can even be suspended if the offence is classified as ‘dangerous driving’ under the proposed law.
The penalty for drunk driving has been increased from the present Rs. 2000 to Rs. 10000. In cases of driving offences relating to juveniles, the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible and would attract a penalty of Rs. 25,000 with three years imprisonment.
A bill in this regard will be tabled in Parliament during the current session.
A government official told The Times of India, “Every violation of traffic lights has the potential to cause a crash. Similarly, driving against the flow of traffic can have serious consequences. The fines we have proposed are the minimum penalty. States can increase these up to 10 times,“ said a government official.
Cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber are also sought to be brought under the licensing rules of state governments under the proposed bill.