New Delhi: Road safety in India is a growing concern. Reports suggest that every year within India over five lakh road accidents take place which results in over 1.5 lakh people losing their lives. To put these facts into order, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016. These amendments aim to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent in five years. 
The Government plans on doing so by imposing hefty penalties and fines on traffic offenders. Here are the major highlights of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016.
1. The increase in compensation for hit and run cases from Rs 25,000 to Rs two lakh. Compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities.
2. In the case of offences committed by juveniles, the guardian/owner of the vehicle shall be deemed guilty and the juvenile will be tried under the JJ Act. Registration of motor vehicle will also be canceled.
3. Increase in fine from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 for riding without wearing a helmet. This might also result in disqualification of the rider’s licence for three months.
4. Penalty for drink-and-drive will be raised to Rs 10,000 from Rs 2,000.
5. Penalty for driving without wearing a seatbelt will be raised from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000.
6. There will be a provision to penalise drivers who do not provide way to emergency vehicles.
7. Adding online services such as enabling online learning licenses, increasing validity period for driving licenses and fulfilling requirements of educational qualifications for transport licenses.
8. The state Government can specify a multiplier, not less than one and not greater than ten, to be applied to each fine under this Act.
9. The state Government can regulate road activities in a public place.
10. The driving training process will be strengthened which will result in a faster issuance of transport licenses.
Proposed Amendments in various penalties under Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill – 2016
Section Violation                              Old Penalty       Proposed Penalties
177 General                                           Rs 100                  Rs 500
New 177A Violation of road rules        Rs 100                  Rs 500
178 Travel without ticket                      Rs 200                  Rs 500
179 Disobedience of orders                   Rs 500                 Rs 2,000
180 Unauthorised use without licence  Rs 1,000               Rs 5,000
181 Driving without licence                  Rs 500                  Rs 5,000
182 Driving despite disqualification      Rs 500                 Rs 10,000
182 B Oversize vehicles (new)                  –                        Rs 5000
183 Over speeding (Light Motor Vehicle) Rs 400              Rs 1,000
183 Over speeding (Medium Passenger Vehicle) Rs 400  Rs 2,000
184 Dangerous driving penalty            Rs 1,000                 Rs 5,000
185 Drink and drive                             Rs 2,000                  Rs 10,000
189 Speeding or racing                         Rs 500                     Rs 5,000
192 A Vehicle without permit Up to Rs 5,000 Up to Rs 10,000
193 Violations of licensing conditions (new) Rs 25,00 to 1 lakh
194 Overloading of goods Rs 2000 + Rs 1,000 per extra tonne Rs 20,000 + Rs 2,000 per extra tonne
194 A Overloading of passengers Rs 1,000 per person
194 B Driving without seat belt        Rs 100                          Rs 1,000
194 C Overloading of two wheelers Rs 100                          Rs 2,000 
194 D Rideing without helmet         Rs 100                          Rs 1,000 
194 E Not providing way for emergency vehicles –              Rs 10,000
196 Driving Without Insurance        Rs 1,000                        Rs 2,000
199 Offences by Juveniles (new)                                          Rs 25,000
210 B Offences committed by enforcing authorities Twice the penalty under the relevant section
We hope these amendments are soon implemented and the bring order to the ever-growing chaotic traffic in the country. The cabinet has also passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. Read how it affects the auto sector here.