Cabinet approves Amendments in Motor Vehicle Act 2016

The Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 that provides for linking of driving licence and vehicle registration with an Aadhaar-based platform and proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations. “We have proposed an amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act where people need to have Aadhaar number to apply for driving licence and need not visit transport offices to get a learning driving licence as it all will be online,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. “The Bill proposes Aadhaar-based verification for grant of online services including learner’s licence. This would ensure the integrity of the online services and also stop the creation of duplicate licences,” he said. The move comes in the wake of de-duplication of licences and registration of stolen vehicles. The government has decided to make an all-India register for driving licences and vehicles which would be available across the country.

The bill introduced in Parliament last year had proposed 89 clauses for amendment out of which only 57 were accepted by the Parliament Standing Committee on Transport, headed by Mukul Roy. With the Cabinet approval, the decks are now cleared for the government to bring much-needed reforms in the transport and road sector, he said, adding the government may table the bill in Parliament soon. The bill specifically targets traffic offenders with stringent penal provisions. The bill has identified priority areas for improving road safety. Stricter penalties are proposed for high-risk offences such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as the use of seat belt, helmets).

The bill provides for facilitating delivery of services to the citizens and transporters.
The bill aims to provide for maximum governance with minimum government. This would help in reducing the harassment faced by the stakeholders in the RTO offices. A national database of vehicles and driving licences would help in safety and security and avoid malpractices. The minister said it is a largely pro-people initiative and will reform the Motor Vehicle insurance sector. “It provides specific timelines for processing of insurance claims. A ten-fold increase has been made in the amount of compensation awarded under a simplified process of claims disbursal wherein the family of an accident victim would get compensation of Rs 5 lakh as a settlement within four months of the accident. Presently it takes at least four to five years for an award,” he said.