On Friday, August 9, 2019, the President of India, approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. The Bill aims to introduce a stricter enforcement regime and is slated to be more technology-driven to weed out corruption and make Indian roads safer.
Indian roads are the most dangerous in the world causing 1.51 lakh deaths in 2016 alone, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) data. Experts and the general public are hopeful that things will improve on Indian roads after the passing of the Bill.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill (MVAB), 2019, also doubles the penalty for riding without compulsory third-party motor vehicle insurance. The penalty amount has been increased from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000.
It should be noted that third-party motor vehicle insurance is mandatory by law. Yet, more than 60% of vehicles ply on Indian roads without mandatory motor insurance. But, online motor insurance purchase is not that costly nor a tedious process. For instance, you can insure a four-wheeler with Bajaj Allianz motor insurance available on Finserv MARKETS with a few clicks and spending as low as Rs. 3,127 a year.
The MVAB, 2019 seeks to leverage technology in various ways to achieve its purpose of achieving road safety, curbing corruption and driving efficiency in our road and transport systems. Let’s understand how this Bill seeks to use technology to improve road safety.
Obtaining a driver’s licence
Getting a driving licence will be more difficult as the test and other processes will become more technology-driven to weed out corruption. The existing licencing system is manual and there is a high likelihood of those with inadequate driving skills obtaining a driving licence. With the adoption of new technology and less human intervention in the process, it will be difficult for those without adequate driving skills to get a driving licence now.
All the driving tests will be computerized. Also, the training process for commercial drivers will be improved and more training schools will be set up.
Automation of vehicle fitness tests
The Bill seeks to automate the vehicle fitness tests and driving tests to prevent corruption and the possibility of any manipulation. It states that “no certificate of fitness shall be granted to a vehicle unless such vehicle has been tested at an authorized automated testing station.”
The MVBA has inserted a new section 136A into the Motor Vehicles Act for electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety. Under the Bill, the state government will be responsible for ensuring road safety and electronic monitoring. The central government will make the rules for installation of speed cameras, CCTVs, speed guns, body wearable cameras (worn by enforcement officers) and other technologies on national highways, state highways, urban roads, etc.
Electronic forms and documents
The Bill also encourages the use of electronic forms and documents for activities such as change of address, transfer of RTO, inter-state transfers, permits, licences etc.
New technology vehicles
Apart from manufacturers raising the safety feature of their vehicles, new tech cars that come with Internet of Things (IoT), connectivity, rear cameras, embedded sensors, and digital analytics, may also be encouraged because these vehicles come with collision prevention, proximity sensors etc. to enhance road safety. The government may also make ABS, airbags and other safety features mandatory in vehicles in the near future.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill is a much-needed step that the government has taken to increase safety and efficiency on Indian roads. However, there is still more work to be done in terms of increasing motor vehicle insurance penetration in India.
Though India has the world’s largest two-wheeler market and is the fourth largest automobile market in the world, it still lags far behind in ensuring that vehicles plying on the roads are insured against accidents, deaths and damage to property. There are millions of vehicles on our roads moving without insurance and putting their finances, families and the lives of others at stake.
If you want to be a responsible citizen and desire that our roads should be safer, buy online motor insurance available on Finserv MARKETS. With Bajaj Allianz motor insurance, you can enjoy cashless claims at more than 4,000 partner garages across the country, as well as swift claims settlement and 24×7 assistance.
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