oppn parties MV Act Amendment: What About Hawkers and Pedestrians?

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
MV Act Amendment: What About Hawkers and Pedestrians?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-04-13 12:12:49

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Lok Sabha has finally passed the long overdue Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that provides for, among other reforms, hefty increases in fines for violating driving laws. It has increased the penalty for driving with a disqualified licence from Rs 500 to Rs 10000 and without a licence to Rs 5000 from Rs 500. The fine for drunken driving is put at between Rs 10000-15000. While this will deter people not qualified to drive or drunks to resist the temptation of taking the wheels, if not implemented honestly, it also has the potential of increasing the incomes of corrupt traffic cops. Previously, they used to let a person go on committing a traffic offence by taking Rs 100 or Rs 200. With fines now increased substantially, the rate on the corruption index will shoot up. Hence, more than hefty fines, what we need are honest cops who care more for lives than their own pockets.

The best part of the amendment is that for the first time, a car owner is sought to be held liable if an under-aged person causes a fatal accident while driving his vehicle. The car owner can be put behind bars for three years if that happens. Parents feel proud to say that their young wards can drive without realizing that controlling a car at a young age can be difficult, especially when under age drivers take an instant liking to speeding. Also, the fine for hit-and-run cases is being increased to Rs 200000 and for fatal accidents to Rs 1000000. Other good features are the creation of compulsory insurance cover to all road users for certain kinds of accidents and protection of Good Samaritans who help accident victims.

But amending the Motor Vehicles act is not the thing that is going to solve the endemic and myriad problems being witnessed on Indian roads. For instance, the footpaths in all major cities and towns are fully occupied by hawkers, forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads. It is a miracle that despite this, motorists prevent accidents. There is no discipline and public transport operators - three-wheeled autos being the worst offenders – rule the roads as if they own them. Pedestrians also make things difficult for drivers by jaywalking and not crossing from zebra crossings. Hence, penalizing drivers alone cannot bring sanity on Indian roads.